It’s been four years since the official presentation of the CD “The tridentine reformation and the music in the silence of the cloister: The monastery of São Bento de Cástris, a project of the Ensemble Eborensis I directed, forming a plainchant schola.In 2014, with my scholarship work in the FCT project ORFEUS (responsible researcher: Antónia Fialho Conde) I was able to make an inventory and do a preliminary study on the plainchant choirbooks of the monastery, a feminine Cistercian house in the outskirts of Évora. Part of project ORFEUS involved the performance of this plainchant repertory, which we did mostly during the annual Residência Cisterciense (that occurs on the third week of September), and several other concerts in Évora and nearby villages. Another activity of the project was the recording of a CD with music somehow connected to the Cistercian monastery.
For this I took the late-sixteenth-century plainchant books from the Monastery and selected two major feasts of the Cistercian community: the Purification of the Virgin (2 February) and St Bernard (20 August), together with the beautiful “O” antiphons for Advent. This is, basically, the contente of the CD the schola recorded in early December 2014, on very cold days.
The work was presented at the church of the monastery of São Bento de Cástris, 15 June 2015, with a brief performance by the schola. The CD was edited by Movimento Patrimonial pela Música Portuguesa, which I have been collaborating since a few years now, and was also present the director of Alentejo Cultural Bureau, Ana Paula Amendoeira.
The music heard in the following vídeo is a track from the CD, one of the Matins antiphons for the feast of the Purification, and I hope to publish a couple more tracks in the future.