El Cant de la Sibilla: Sacred Music from Medieval Catalunya | Brilliant Classics 95481

El Cant de la Sibilla: Sacred Music from Medieval Catalunya

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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95481

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 24th March 2017

Contents

Artists

Chiara Galioto (soprano)
Ensemble San Felice
Pueri Cantores della Cattedrale di Sarzana

Conductors

Federico Bardazzi
Alessandra Montali

Artists

Chiara Galioto (soprano)
Ensemble San Felice
Pueri Cantores della Cattedrale di Sarzana

Conductors

Federico Bardazzi
Alessandra Montali

About

Who were the pilgrims who climbed the treacherously steep mountain to the monastery of Montserrat in northern Spain? And what kind of music would have accompanied their journey? This release imagines Christmas Eve in medieval Catalonia, built around the 'song of the Sibyl'. The tradition of the singing Sibyl was not unique to Montserrat, but it was covertly practiced there long after it had been outlawed by the Council of Trent in 1575. The Sibyl was a pre-Christian woman who prophesied the coming of Christ; during the Middle Ages, a boy would dress up as the Sibyl and, blindfolded, sing the famous verses, normally in the third nocturn of the Christmas Day matins service. This recording uses the Catalan version of the Sibyl's song found in the archives of Barcelona Cathedral. Another Catalan book from the same period, the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, also informs much of this programme. It would have provided pilgrims with suitably religious music to sing on their approach to the cathedral, rather than secular songs and dances. The additional use of Gregorian chant sets the Cant de la Sibilla in its original context of the early morning matins, before these were standardised into the Office of Readings. Finally, the addition of a traditional secular Catalan song which tells the story of the doomed Count Arnau marks the period in the night when the pious pilgrims, eagerly awaiting the opening of the monastery, would give the floor over to storytellers.

This CD is the result of a unique project involving professional and amateur artists. The project was premiered as the first concert of a new annual festival in Florence run by Federico Bardazzi and Alessandra Montali, 'InCanto Armonico'. Established group Ensemble San Felice, who, under Bardazzi's direction, have previously made several successful CDs, were paired with the children's choir of the Cathedral of Sarzana, Pueri Cantores, who make up the 'voci bianche'. Featuring young soprano soloist Chiara Galioto, and performed on period instruments, this recording provides the listener with an enchanting aural portrayal of medieval Catalonia.

Contents:

Music from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
1. Polorum Regina
2. Los set goyts
3. Maria Matrem Virginem
4. Stella splendens
5. Imperayritz de la ciudad joyosa

6. El comte Arnau (trad. Catalan ballad)

Music from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
7. Ad mortem festinamus
8. Laudemus Virginem Splendens ceptigera

Music from the Barcelona lectionary (14th century)
9. Antiphona: Christus natus est nobis Psalmus 94/95 (Invitatory): Venite exultemus Domino
10. Benedictio Lectio De homilia Sancti Augustini
11. Responsorium: Verbum caro factum est
12. Benedictio Lectio Sermo Sancti Augustini in die Natalis Domini
13. El cant de la Sibilla
    
Music from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat
14. O Virgo splendens
15.Cuncti simus concanentes

16. Ave maris stella (trad. medieval song)

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