North of Barcelona sits the hill of Montserrat ("serrated mountain" in Catalan). Atop its summit sits the monastery of Santa Maria, which houses the famous "Black Madonna", La Moreneta, a holy object which has drawn pilgrims since the 12th century. The Llibre Vermell ("Red Book") is a collection of music, hymns, writings and much more that has been the crown of the monastery's archives for centuries, and it is music from that which Savall and his team perform here. The music was written to be danced in the church or the cloisters. This performance gives us an insight into medieval Christianity that is all but unique, and it's cherishable if for nothing other than historical reasons. The polyphony is early, and modest, but the choir of La Capella Reial sing it with seriousness and disarming simplicity. The ladies are particularly impressive, with some spine-tingling alto solos that are both devotional and sensuous in a combination that shouldn't work but really does.
- Language: en