Missa en Re major Stabat Mater Quomodo Obscuratum Est Lauda Jerusalem MEPCD00
Lluís Vilamajó, tenor LA XANTRIA, Pere Lluís Biosca VESPRES D'ARNADÍ, Dani Espasa
Catalonia in the 18th century, like Bohemia and Moravia, produced a surplus of musicians, surplus that sometimes “was exported” to the other kingdoms of Europe (Domènec Terradellas, the Pla brothers) although most obtained a position in religious centres in mainland or overseas territories of the Spanish crown. Josep Mir i Llussà achieved some of these most prestigious positions in Segovia (1731-1741), Valladolid (1741-1750) and Madrid (1751-1764). In this stage in Madrid, Mir was mixed with the most influential persons of the court: José de Nebra, Jaume Casellas, José Ripa and the Italians Francesco Corselli and Nicola Conforto. His main task was always the composition of church music, materialized in an impressive catalogue of works and in its dissemination throughout the Spanish and Latino American geographies. The main sources of Josep Mir i Llussà’s music are the royal library of the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the Segovia Cathedral chapter archive, the musical archive of the sanctuary-monastery of Aranzazu and, above all, the ancient music archive of the monastery of La Encarnación of Madrid, acquired at the beginnings of 20th century by the Abbey of Montserrat. This recording shows four contrasting pieces both in style and in scoring: a mass of great format with soloists, choir and orchestra (Missa a 8, 1760), a lamentation for a solo tenor and orchestra (Quomodo obscuratum est, 1753), a Stabat mater written a capella (1756) and a psalm for a double choir and small orchestra (Lauda Jerusalem). We do hope that this anthology, a small show of the colossal production of one of the more important chapel masters from 18th century to a Spanish level, contribute to the knowledge of our musical and artistic past and to understand better the evolutions of a dynamic and at the same time contradictory century, in a country where the most ancient traditions coexisted with the latest innovations of the most fashionable music.