AD HONOREM VIRGINIS • Carles Magraner, dir; Capella de Ministrers; Lluis Vich Vocalis • LICANUS CDM 0822 (59:21 Text and Translation)
This collection of sacred polyphony from the kingdom of Aragon spans the 12th to 15th centuries. The only familiar piece is the Song of the Sibyl, the first of the seven settings that Montserrat Figueras recorded (as did several other singers), though not comparable to her exquisite performance. The source for this is 12th-century Girona, a little later than the source FiguerasRead more cited. The notes jump off from the reconquest of the kingdom of Valencia in 1238 to a wider consideration of sacred polyphony as it was practiced in the region. The monasteries and cathedrals are located in Tarragona, Girona, and Barcelona, but it would have been helpful to identify precisely the sources used here. Few of the remaining works are familiar to me. Cedit frigus and Crimina tollis are on a Catalan program by Enric Gispert that was recorded in 1968 and has appeared on several labels.
The vocal work is very stylish and most of the pieces are accompanied by instruments of the period. The notes by Maricarmen Gomez are excellent. With his specialization in early Spanish music, Carles Magraner has done consistently good work for this label. This will broaden any collection of this era.
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