Lamentations by Fr. Manuel Cardoso
In 2016 was the 450th anniversary of Portuguese composer frei Manuel Cardoso’s birth. He was baptized on December 11, 1566, in the Church of Fronteira, a small village near the Spanish border. He wrote several Lamentations settings for the Triduum Sacrum published in his collection Livro de varios motetes… printed in Lisbon by Lourenço Craesbeeck in 1648, his last works to be published.
Jod. Manum suam is the third Lesson for Maundy Thursday. It follows in the book the fantastic six-voice Vau. Et egressus est, one of Cardoso’s best known works. This third Lesson is written for SSAT, an unusual texture in Cardoso’s works which make this work also unusual in terms of its sonority. Last year, my group Ensemble Eborensis embarked on a different project featuring works for SSAT, being this Lamentation the first choice for a central work in the programme.
This video was recorded during Ensemble Eborensis’s concert in the Church of Aguiar (near Évora), June 10, 2016, commemorating the 500 years of the forais by King D. Manuel to the villages of Viana do Alentejo and Aguiar. We repeated this programme in Chartres (France) two weeks later. There’s an excellent recording of this Lesson by the Westminster Cathedral Choir in their Hyperion CD Masterpieces of Portuguese Polyphony 2.