Gaspar Sanz: La Preciosa

Gordon Ferries visits the music of seventeenth-century Spain’s fiery streets. It was a time when the five-course guitar engendered a sense of abject horror in the morally inclined on account of its associations with popular ballads, taverns, criminality, sensuality and in particular with dancing. Ferries evokes the period with panache and breathtakingly virtuosic flair.

"Sanz’s music exudes Spanish fire from every pore, and it is this exotic but nebulous quality that Ferries captures to perfection"


"Ferries achieves an astonishing array of moods and emotions…at once crisp, stylish, and fun. This is a disc to listen to again and again"


"Ferries’s richly detailed booklet-notes echo his recital by being a perfect blend of facts, intellectual speculation and gentle humour; indeed, the package gives you an insight into a cultural milieu where things weren’t so different from ours after all."

"I found this disc both entertaining and enlightening for the window it provides on seventeenth-century music and musical practice. I think you will too."


"Gordon Ferries's brilliant disc on the Scottish Delphian label should win at least a few converts. Don't be put off, if you're not particularly a fan of baroque music, by the typical titles of the period that pepper this collection: Passacaglias, Sarabandes, Chaconnes, and so on. There is an unmistakable Mediterranean feel to the music, whether stately or solemn pieces; and the livelier numbers positively sizzle."

"The instrument has a distinctive timbre and Ferries, from Edinburgh, is a persuasive advocate on yet another offbeat issue from Inverness-born Paul Baxter’s enterprising label. Using his nails to produce a ringing tone, Ferries has a clean sound and a nimble style, playing this late 17th century music with a flourish and the occasional percussive rap on the body of his guitar."


"Every note is clearly defined throughout the compass, and this is enhanced by the resonant acoustic of the venue where the music was recorded. It seems almost incredible that on an instrument apparently limited in resources, the music sounds so satisfying. An object lesson to everyone, past and present, who has regarded the guitar with its re-entrant tuning as a poor relation of the lute. Definitely my disc of the year for 2005."


"As he expertly manoeuvres his way through the various dance forms, Ferries is obviously having the time of his life and his enthusiasm for the music shines through this disc on every track. Anyone who is not a particular enthusiast of this period of music could easily be swayed by listening to this superb disc."


"gives the music a spontaneous quality all by himself through his interpretations, where improvisation seems to shade seamlessly into performance from the score."


Release Date: 1 October 2005
Catalogue No: DCD34036
Total playing time: 1:06:17
Recorded on 2-3 January 2005 at Colinton Parish Church, Edinburgh
Producer & Engineer: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital editing: Paul Baxter
24-bit digital mastering: Paul Baxter
Design: Margareta Jönsson
Cover image: Matthew Hollerbush / CORBIS
Session photography: Paul Baxter

Album Booklet

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