We don’t just perform, we create. And not on paper, but on stage: right in front of the public — improvisation and full-of-risk embellishments, creativity, communication and virtuosity all make each one of our shows a unique spectacle.
More Hispano at Utrecht Early Music Festival 2008
Under the artistic direction of Vicente Parrilla, More Hispano offers unique projects, in keeping with an extremely unusual concept within the field of early music performance today: the fully improvised performance of all the pieces included in our programmes.
Since 2005, we have focused exclusively on developing and recovering the lost art of improvisation within the early music repertoire — an essential tool that allows us to achieve fresh, surprising live performances loaded with a great communicative power. The incorporation of the art of improvisation adds a new dimension to live performance as a result of the direct communication it allows with the audience, and has always been warmly received by the public.
A video from the Glosas CD recording session (2009)
Our debut album was entirely dedicated to 17th century Spanish composer Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde (Canzoni, Fantasie et Correnti), and it’s a record that still remains a reference for Selma’s music today.
In April 2009, we captured a recording session on tape from which our two most recent albums were produced: Yr a oydo (2010) (old Spanish for Going by ear) —a disc devoted to improvisation in Renaissance and early baroque music— and Glosas (2011) —a very personal project which brings together original and unpublished material in the form of new embellishments on Renaissance music.
- Glosas (2011), new embellishments on Renaissance music
- Yr a oydo (2010), improvisation on Renaissance & Early Baroque music
- Canzoni, Fantasie et Correnti (1999), B. de Selma y Salaverde
Visit the discography section for more details.
Founded in 1998, following the production of their debut album, More Hispano brought together a group of musicians of great renown today, many of which currently work as soloists on their own personal projects and careers, that have been playing together in different projects for more than 20 years.
“More” ≠ “+”
A bit of etymology is needed to know more about the ensemble’s name: More Hispano takes its name from a Latin expression to be found in several collections of motets and Masses by some of the most important authors from Renaissance Spain such as Tomás Luis de Victoria or Francisco Guerrero. This expression usually indicated the use of typically Spanish melodies such as Pange Lingua or Vexilla Regis.
More Hispano’s performances have always been warmly received by the public —besides being cellebrated by the specialist press. Here are a few quotes:
“At its best, the group’s style came as close as anything I’ve heard to an early-music jam session, with caution thrown to the wind.”
—The Irish Times, October 16, 2013
“Whereas for most period-instrument bands improvisation means judiciously adding ornaments, Mr. Parrilla and company go all out. Mr. Parrilla, on recorder, takes turns with the other instrumentalists elaborating on the composers’ melodies, often adding modal touches and varying the rhythms, much as a virtuosic jazz band would do with a group of standards.”
—The New York Times, February 17, 2011
“One of the most original and powerful spectacles on offer from Spanish early music today.”
“The crowning concert of the entire Festival Oudemuziek Utrecht. Their performance brought tears to my eyes from the sheer pleasure and joy at hearing such virtuoso and passionate performing, which had all of the truth and immediacy of a jazz concert.”
—Goldberg Magazine, October 2008
Photo taken during the recording sessions of Yr a oydo (2009)
More Hispano has performed in festivals such as Varaždin Baroque Evenings Festival (Croatia), Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik (Austria), East Cork Early Music Festival (Ireland), Festival de Música Antiga de Tiana (Barcelona), Noches en los Jardines del Real Alcázar and Festival de Música Antigua de Sevilla (FeMÁS), Festival de Música Antigua de Aranjuez, Festival de Música Antigua de El Puerto de Santa María, Las Piedras Cantan (Castilla y León), XIII Muestra de Música Antigua ‘Castillo de Aracena’ (Huelva), II Festival de Música Antigua de Málaga, Festival de Música Antigua de Olivares, IX Festival de Música Antigua ‘Eloy Zapico,’ VI Festival de Música Medieval de Alarcos, XXII Radovljica Early Music Festival (Slovenia), Warsaw’s Music Encounters & Forum de Música Española at Warsaw (Poland), Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (The Netherlands) & XXIII Festival Internacional de Música Colonial Brasileira e Música Antiga (Brazil).