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banchetto musicale

September 22, Thursday, 8 pm
Franciscan Monastery Church, Trakų St. 9/1

Ballads and Cantigas among Christians and Moors


The long historical process of the battles between Christian kingdoms and territories inhabited by the Moors on the Iberian Peninsula was significant to both the earlier inhabitants of the lands and the new Christian arrivals. The last Moorish fortress, Granada, was occupied in 1492, an event which initiated the cultural cooperation between the Moors who had lived there since early times and the Christians. This cooperation was reflected in architecture, sculpture, painting, and of course, music.
Capella de Ministrers introduce the moresca, an early Spanish dance, and invite us to set off on a musical journey to the Spain of those times. This journey features especially selected medieval and Renaissance compositions that accurately reflect the 400 year long cultural collaboration between the Christian and Moorish spirit.

Ever since its foundation in 1987, the Capella de Ministrers ensemble, directed by Carles Magraner, has sought to present the rich Spanish musical heritage from medieval times up to the 19th century. Basing their programmes on musicological investigation, the result brings together the perfection of three key factors: historical accuracy, sentient musical sensibility and an uncontrollable desire to make audiences co-participants of these experiences.
The ensemble appears in many concerts and has played in Spain’s finest music halls and in music festivals organized in the country. Their music has also been heard in other countries throughout Europe, Africa, South America, the United States and China.
In 2008 Capella de Ministrers participated in the inauguration of the Casa de la Lengua Española en Rodas, chaired by Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain. In the same year the ensemble participated in official events at the Monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the birth of James I of Aragon.
The ensemble’s activities reach beyond the accepted musical boundaries and step into the world of scenic arts, having collaborated with film and theatre directors Alex Rigola, Juli Leal, Vicent Genovés, Jaume Martorell and Bigas Luna and choreographer Santiago Sempere. Capella de Ministrers premiered the the first Spanish Sacred Oratorio, “La Madrileña” by Vicente Martín y Soler, presenting a historical interpretation of the drama for the Festivity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin of Elche. Their performance of “El Cant de la” was included in the Bigas Luna film, Son de Mar. In 2003, Capella de Ministrers participated in Luna’s adaptation of Comedias Bárbaras by Valle-Inclan for the closing performance of the Valencia Biennale.
As a result of their study and recovery of early music, the ensemble has produced over 40 records for EGT, Blau, Audivis and CDM, the latter being Capella de Ministrers’ own label. The group has been awarded numerous prizes including best recording production from the Ministry of Culture and the “Importante” award from Editorial Prensa Valenciana, and recently the Civic Prize 2008 of Almussafes - Ribera Baixa.


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