Following my collaboration with the vocal ensemble Capella Duriensis, directed by Jonathan Ayerst, in preparing scores and musicolagical advice, here is the first cd of a collection of six volumes dedicated to Portuguese sacred music entitled Música Sacra de Portugal Vol. 1 – O Rito Bracarense. The first volume of this series is dedicated to the music used at Braga Cathedral, in the so-called Braga Rite.
This music features works by late-16th century chapel masters of the Cathedral as is the case of the motets by Pero de Gamboa, according to some musicologists some of the finest works of Portuguese polyphony, and the Missa pro Defunctisof Gamboa’s successor Lourenço Ribeiro. The cd also features some plainchant and early polyphony. The plainchant comes from the Braga Gradual, a manuscript compiled around 1510, which has several specific feasts for use around Braga, as is the case of S. Geraldo and the recorded S. Pedro de Rates. From the Gradual also comes the Missa quinque plagarum. Miguel de Fonseca, chapel master at the Cathedral and one of great musical contributors to the Liber Introitus. This is a manuscript that contains several polyphonic works specifically for the use at Braga.
This was a very interesting, demanding and quite challenging endeavour which brought to me very rewarding results. One of them is to see the wonderful practical result achieved by this fresh group under the guidance of Jonathan Aeyrst, which is backed-up by the secular English choral tradition. A project to be followed… and listen to.