O VIRGO SPLENDENS. This piece is a cac’a, or medieval canon for three voices, in which the second and third voicessimply repeat the music and words sung by the first. As is partly true of the other two canons contained in the same manuscript, the parallel fourths, fifths and octaves bear witness ot the very old form used in this composition. Whoever wrote it was closely acquainted with the contrapuntal technique of the 12th and 13th centuries, and was also thoroughly familiar with Gregorian chant. Up to this point there is no similar example in the history of medieval music: that of a canon sung in unmeasured rhythm and sounding like “sulcis armonia,” which is the title the composer gave it. It is a canon such as the “fadrins musichs” might have sung in the shrine of Montserrat to create a suitable atmosphere and put the faithful in the proper frame of mind to hear the rest of their musical offerings.

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

Capilla Musical y Escolania de Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caidos
(Fray Luis Loazano OSB, Director)
Atrium Musicau
(Gregoria Paniagua, Director)