“Al Alva Venid” was originally released in 1995, and it sounds just as good now as it did then.

Soprano Marta Almajano sings with a honeyed tone that blends beautifully with the vihuela and renaissance guitar. They’re played by José Miguel Moreno, one of the masters of early stringed instruments. His sensitive phrasing makes every piece a polished gem.

The program covers a variety of Spanish Renaissance music. Diego Ortiz and Juan del Enzina are well-represented, and there’s a mixture of often-performed and lesser-known works.

Overall the recording has a warm, smooth sound. But that doesn’t mean it’s bland. The Ensemble La Romanesca performs with a restrained energy that makes this music sound vital and alive.

This remains one of the best collections of Renaissance Spanish music. I’m glad to see it back.

Al Alva Venid: Secular music from the Spanish Renaissance
Marta Almajano, soprano
Ensemble La Romanesca
José Miguel Moreno
Glossia GCD C80203