O VIRGO SPLENDENS from Llibre Vermell de Montserrat

O Virgo Splendens is a canon for three male voices from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, one of the oldest extant medieval manuscripts containing music. The Red Book is in the library of the Abbey of Montserrat, near Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain).

The Red Book includes three canons, two polyphonic songs and dances five dances and was copied at the end of the 14th Century. The relative simplicity, the dance rhythm and the strong melodies have given the music a lasting appeal.

O Virgo Splendens, hic in monte celso
miraculis serrato fulgentibus ubique,
quem fideles conscendunt universi.
Eia pietatis oculo placato
cerne ligatos furne peccatorum,
ne infernorum ictibus graventur,
sed cum beatis tua prece vocentur.

This version includes some elements of contemporary music (multiphonics, bisbigliandi, etc) at the final section of the piece.

Recorded by Nacho Gascón at Stinky Studio (Lliçà de Vall, Catalonia/Spain)