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> Juan García de Salazar: In Dominica Palmarum

Juan García de Salazar: In Dominica Palmarum
LAU011 | 54126900053016
May 2011
Digibox / 1 CD / 71:52
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A reconstruction of the Procession and Mass for the Feast of Palm Sunday in Zamora

The Álava-born composer Juan García de Salazar was trained in Burgos and was chapel master at the collegiate church of Santa Maria la Mayor of Toro and at the cathedral of Burgo de Osma (Soria) before being named chapel master of Zamora cathedral, a post which he would occupy for forty-two years until his death in 1710.

La Grande Chapelle undertook to record some of the music he wrote for the Palm Sunday festivities. The programme offers a reconstruction of the processional music, the mass and part of the vespers service of this liturgical feast with its characteristic alternation of passages of polyphony, plainsong and the pieces or musical fragments played by the minstrels. Juan Carlos Asensio, one of the ensemble’s habitual collaborators, was responsible for finding and selecting the music from Zamora cathedral’s seventeenth and eighteenth century choir books.

The impetus for the reconstruction of the Palm Sunday procession arose from the fact that several of Salazar’s motets for use on this day are preserved in Zamora cathedral. Another extremely interesting piece of music is his polyphonic Saint Matthew Passion, which is of particular importance given that there are few available recordings of Passions. The reconstruction of the festivities ends with the vespers hymn Vexilla regis which was sung at the Vexilla ceremony during which the holy standard of the cross was raised.

This musical reconstruction was made possible through the “recovering” of the music manuscripts (preserved in Zamora and Burgos) and by using musical forces similar to those found in the Zamora cathedral at the end of the seventeenth century. The search for authenticity and rigorous attention to sound are hallmarks of La Grande Chapelle and its director Albert Recasens. This recording pays homage to García de Salazar on the third centenary of his death (1710- 2010), providing an ambitious revival of the musical and religious heritage of the Castilla y Leon region in the hope of spreading Spain’s rich musical history to an even wider audience.