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Atrium Musicae de Madrid

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Biography

Atrium Musicae de Madrid is a Spanish ensemble specialising in all kinds of ancient European music,

The ensemble was founded in the 1970s by Gregorio Paniagua, a Spanish monk, and included other members of the Paniagua family. Perhaps the group’s most famous recording is Musique de le Grèce Antique, in which they performed ancient Greek music carefully taken down from scattered fragments of papyrus, and a tiny snatch of Roman music as next to nothing remains of Roman sheet music. Performing ancient compositions also meant the reconstruction of ancient instruments.

Other recordings include the 1976 Musique Arabo-Andalouse, which delves into Hispanic-Moslem music, and is credited with creating a new interest in this genre from southern Spain. From the late 1970s into the early 1980s the group began a series of recordings dealing with fifteenth and sixteenth century popular Spanish songs. Then came Las Indias de Espana, a recording of pre-Colombian American music collected from archives.

The decision to dissolve the group was no doubt based on some of the younger members’ interest in beginning solo careers. Luis Paniagua has established an extremely succesful presence as a composer and performer, leading ensembles as well as creating projects for dance, theatre, and film. He is an accomplished sitar player and is known for blending ancient and modern instruments. Founding member Gregorio Paniagua’s lengthy catalogue of original compositions includes “La Folia”, which involves a harpischord and chainsaw. Eduardo Paniagua formed a new ensemble, Musica Antigua.

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