José Miguel Moreno is one of the leading specialists of historical plucked string instruments, but with a repertory that extends from the 16th century to the present day. A co-founder of Glossa, he had previously recorded with Teresa Berganza for Philips and with Hespèrion XX for Astrée. As a soloist, as an accompanist or with his ensembles La Romanesca and Orphénica Lyra (focused on the Spanish repertoire of the Renaissance and Baroque), Moreno has made some of the signal recordings that have helped establish Glossa’s reputation: his groundbreaking album, The Spanish Guitar (1536-1836), for example, has sold in excess of 30,000 copies; other recordings have explored the musical worlds of Cervantes’ Don Quijote and of the painter Diego Velázquez. Moreno has also recorded Boccherini Guitar Quintets, accompanied by his brother Emilio’s La Real Cámara. More recently, he has – in the company of Eligio Quinteiro – dedicated albums to the music of John Dowland and Luys Milán. Over the years such recordings have also received substantial critical praise.
As well as performing on original instruments – vihuelas, Renaissance and Baroque guitars, lutes and theorbos as well as Romantic-era guitars – he has carried out extensive research into the building of early instruments of the lute and guitar family. Such research can be heard brought into practice on all his recordings for Glossa. Currently, in his workshop he is also constructing classical guitars.
Concerts, master classes and conferences have taken him all over the world, including North and South America, Asia and Australia, as well as frequent appearances in the concert halls of Europe, from the United Kingdom to Turkey and from Russia to Moreno’s native Spain. The Madrid-born guitarist’s musical versatility has also seen him perform recently the Fantasía para un gentilhombre by Joaquín Rodrigo.
The collective artistic endeavours of Glossa have recently been recognized with an award of Label of the Year for 2014 by a Europe-wide panel of classical music media organizations – print and online magazines, as well as radio broadcasters – who form the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) jury. This is to be presented at the Award Ceremony and Gala Concert in the Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw in April 2014. The Glossa adventure began back in 1992, led by two pioneering Spanish instrumentalists – brothers José Miguel Moreno and Emilio Moreno – who set about creating a treasure trove of recorded excellence, notably in the ever-developing field of “early music”. To this day, the label remains focused on its artists, supporting their musical journeys and inclinations, with the artistic direction entrusted to Carlos Céster. With a small team around him Céster operates from San Lorenzo de El Escorial, surrounded by the abundant natural riches of the mountains around Madrid and with an austere Monasterio in sight to ever encourage him in the rigour of his work. [read more...]