Our programs

(last updated: September 2018



The vast majority of Monteverdi´s sacred music was collected in three large publications: his famous Vespers of 1610, the Selva Morale of 1641, and his Messa... et Salmi, published posthumously in 1650. But there is also an important number of works scattered through collections, called raccolte, published by other authors, like the one by Giulio Cesare Bianchi (1620), or by Leonardo Simonetti (1625). Although Monteverdi´s Vespers, operas and madrigals have become very popular in the last decades, these and many other of his work do not receive much attention. Monteverdiana is a selection of this lesser known works, combined with a few of the popular ones. All of them are among Monteverdi´s most impressive achievements, in a mixture of the splendid and the intimate, the sensual and the sublime.

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Tristezas me matan

Cristobal de Morales did not iclude his mas "Tristezas me matan" in his famous Missarum print (Rome 1544), and this is perhaps the reason why it has been neglected in modern times. The melody used as cantus firmus is the same that Pedro de Escobar uses for his song Las penas de mi madre, included in the Cancionero de Palacio, a reference hitherto unnoticed by modern musicology. The lyrics of the original tune, copied on the book, were according to some, "against the constitution of the Church". The texts says as follows "Sadness is killing me; I see the one I love having fun with another man". Morales claims to be the true disciple of Josquin, and indeed they share an important number of features, specially in their masses. The Flemish Gombert, with whom Morales shared many printed editions, might have studied wit Josquin. Gombert influence is undoubtedly present in the works of Morales, and Josquin´s on both of them. The three of them form together a triangle which exerted a powerful influence in all Europe. 



The Book of the Lamentations is a collection of poetic laments for the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BC. The book is traditionally recited on during Tenebrae of the Holy Triduum, that is, during the night service of the three days preceding Easter. Our program presents a selection from four of the most outstanding composers of the 16th century: Lobo, Victoria, Morales and Ruimonte. Perhaps is Pedro Ruimonte the lesser known of the four; he worked between 1601 and 1614,at the court of Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and Isabella Clara Eugenia, sovereigns of the Habsburg Netherlands. In 1607 Ruimonte published his Lamentatione in Antwerp by music publisher Phalesio, and dedicated it to Philip III. Aesthetically, they are in the line of Morales and Victoria, and although written in the then arcaic stile antico, they have the unmistakable taste of the baroque. The Lamentations in Spain, unlike the rest of Europe, are not mostly based on autocton medieval melodies, despite the abolition of the Old Hispanic Rite in the Iberian Peninsula


Codex Lerma. The Found Manuscript

Codex Lerma is a choir book copied in Spain at the end of 16th century. It once belonged to the music library of the Collegiate church of Lerma Burgos, Spain), founded by Duke of Lerma in 1607. It is currently housed in the library of the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands). In the 1950s, Maarten A.Vente, lecturer and curator at the Musicology department of the University of Utrecht, "found" it lying in the sacristy of Lerma´s church. Its keeper had little much use for the old and tattered codex, and in 1959 was bought and brought to The Netherlands, thus being saved from further deterioration. It contains mostly Franco-Flemish chansons, some Italian madrigals, a bunch of motets, and a number of instrumental dances. Besides Clemens, Gombert, Crequillon or Verdelot, there are also some virtually unknown composers such as Giovan Leonardo Primavera and Jacopo Corfini. We performe this program In collaboration with Spanish ensemble La Caravaggia, combining instrumental and vocal versions of the pieces. Read more...

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