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Monday, July 24, 2017

Joan Cererols (1618-1680)

Villancico “Ahi qué dolor” a 5 voci

Missa pro defunctis a 7 voci

  • Introitus: Requiem aeternam
  • Psalmus LXIC: Te decet
  • Kyrie
  • Graduale: Requiem aeternam
  • Sequentia: Dies irae
  • Offertorium: Domine Jesu Christe
  • Sanctus
  • Responsorium: Hei mihi
  • Agnus Dei
  • Communio: Lux aeterna
  • Responsorium: Libera me
  • Kyrie (daccapo)

Joan Cererols (1618-1676) is not so famous in our time, the time of a continuous research about renaissance and baroque music; but this composer should deserve our attention, more than many other. He was boy singer at Monserrat, where he became a Benedictine in 1636. He studied music in the monastery of Montserrat, where he became skillfull in composition and in playing several instruments; there he was subsequently chapelmaster for thirty years. He set to music almost all liturgical texts and spiritual villancicos in Catalan language. What is most astonishing for a modern listener is the passionate way of singing this composer can realize, so far from the cold rules of counterpoint. This is particularly evident in the villancico Ahi que dolor, whose beginning is surprisingly treated with the same theme we find at the beginning of the St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. In the Missa pro defunctis with seven voices in two choirs, the sequenza Dies irae mainly is structured on a passacaglia bass that bestows a light and fond character to this terrible and  threatening text, while in other sections, as Offertorio and Sanctus, the Catalan composer reveals an appeciable taste for a continuous variety, alternating full choirs with few voices parts. We may say that this composer, for his skill in composition, and for the sensitive attitude he shows in poliphony, must be consedered as one of the most interesting of the XVII century.

Missa pro defunctis 7 v. (Excerpt) Ahi que dolor (excpert)