I was yesterday again in Elvas Municipal Library (P-Em) for some “field work” with my research team based in the University of Évora. We were working in eighteenth-century sacred music and nineteenth-century music for piano from the Libary music archive.
The picture above is from a beautiful copied eighteenth-century choirbook containing several masses by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, including the Missa Brevis and Missa Aeterna Christi munera, both of which I have sung several years ago. It was interesting to revisit the tenor part of these works which one can read directly from the choirbook, a fine copy which confirms that in Alentejo there were very good copyists during the eighteenth century.
I’m currently preparing a study on this and other sources of Palestrinian music in Alentejo and the influence of the Italian composer during those times. Here is my favourite version of the Missa Brevis, one of the most influent works on my career as a musicologist, in a superb performance by The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Philips, from their 1986 recording which after 30 years is still, in my opinion, the recording reference regarding this work.