Montserrat Figueras at the Montserrat Abbey

September 14, 2022, 10:00 pm

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Facade of the Basilica of Montserrat (Photo: Ekaterina Polischuk, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Soprano Montserrat Figueras died on November 23, 2011 at the age of 69. The cause was cancer. Her artistic and cultural legacy, especially in the realm of early music, cannot be overstated. In this tribute to Montserrat Figueras, co-founder with her husband Jordi Savall of Hespèrion XX and Le Concert des Nations, we hear a program of Canticles to the Blessed Virgin from the 13th century to the late Renaissance. Jordi Savall has allowed the European Broadcasting Union to distribute this recital in her memory. Baroque&Before is honored to present this recital featuring Hespèrion XX (now Hepèrion XXI,) viola da gambist Jordi Savall, lutenist Rolf Lislevand, and the incomparable Montserrat Figueras.

Tonight’s program was recorded live in concert August 18, 1985 in the 10th-century Santa María of Montserrat Abbey in Barcelona. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the European Broadcasting Union, we’re able to bring you tonight’s program as a stream for 30 days following the broadcast. A blue “Listen” button will appear when the link is accessible.


Alfonso el Sabio (1221-1284)
Cantigas de Santa Maria
– Madre de Déus, óra por nós téu Fill’ essa hóra. Esta XII e de como Santa Maria rogue por nos a seu Fillo en dia do juyzio, Cantiga No. 422

Instrumental (14th century)
Mariam Matrem Verginem (Llibre vermell de Montserrat)
Polorum regina omnium nostra (Llibre Vermell de Montserrat)

Francisco Correa de Arauxo (1584-1654)
Three Glosses on the Plainsong of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary

Cancionero del Duque de Calabria (excerpts)
– Yo me soy la morenica
– Dinos madre del donzel
– Soleta i verge estich

Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (1580-1651)
Toccata for lute

Tarquinio Merula (ca 1595-1665)
Canzonetta spirituale sopra la nanna (“Hoch ch’e tempo di dormire”)

Tobias Hume (ca 1579-1645)
Death – Life

Tarquinio Merula
Spirate o venti

Traditional (Catalonia)
El Testament d’Amèlia (encore)

Traditional (Sephardic)
Por qué lloras blanca niña (encore)


Montserrat Figueras, soprano
Rolf Lislevand, lute and theorbo
Jordi Savall, viola da gamba
Hespèrion XX (now Hespèrion XXI)