Portuguese polyphony for Lent

I could now be writing about Carnival and how lively it is. Indeed, it’s quite an interesting feast, especially in Venice, where it has a long musical tradition with several names like Giovanni Croce or Orazio Vecchi associated with it. Here in Portugal, as in the rest of the Catholic world, with the end of Carnival begins one of the longest periods of our faith, the seventy days to Easter Day, or the Septuagesimastarting next Sunday. These seventy days also happen to be one of the most fertile periods for which have been written polyphonic music during the late-sixteenth  and first half of seventeenth centuries by Portuguese composers. So, we will have a lot of music to hear during March.

For now, I share the recording I made with Ensemble Eborensis of Mateus d’Aranda’s motet Adjuva nos Deus, which uses the text from the verse of the tractus for Ash Wednesday.

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