Raquel Andueza, Chapel of Ministers or La Grande Chapelle, in San Lorenzo de El Escorial


The Auditorium Theater of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Community of Madrid, hosts a new edition of the Holy Week Festival what, after its cancellation last year, returns with three very intimate concerts every day 1, 2 Y 3 of April. A unique opportunity to escape to the mountains of Madrid, escape from reality and travel to another era through the spirituality of great works of sacred music, medieval and baroque.


During the three days that the meeting lasts, viewers will be able to enjoy In heaven: Sacred and moral Italian music of the S. XVII, from Raquel Andueza & the Galania; Santa Maria. Music in the times of Alfonso X the Wise, from Chapel Ministrers; Y Motets and lamentations of Cristóbal de Morales, of the Great Chapel. The three performances will be at 19.00 h. As on other occasions, The Auditorium Theater will open under strict safety and hygiene measures through a protocol that guarantees the safety of the public and workers.


The festival opens on Thursday 1 April with the concert In heaven: Sacred and moral Italian music of the S. XVII by Raquel Andueza & the Galania. The musical group presents its most intimate program to date, in which they collect ten pieces of different themes: from a girl who doesn't want to be a nun to an Arianna turned into Mary Magdalene; going through three moral songs that alert us to the dangers of not being virtuous, two lullabies to put the baby Jesus to sleep, and other resounding works such as Lament of the Magdalene from Monteverdi o la Spiritual Cantata de Benedetto Ferrari.


Founded in the year 2010 by soprano Raquel Andueza and theorbist Jesús Fernández Baena, Raquel Andueza & La Galanía offers baroque music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of the highest level, being one of the most specialized formations in these periods. Its cast incorporates national and international artists who are part of very prestigious orchestras and groups worldwide such as Hespèrion XXI, Al Ayre Spanish, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Private Musicke, Orchestra of the Age or L’Arpeggiata. Since in 2011 they will release their first album, I am madness, have garnered the affection of critics and the public by receiving, among others, the FestClásica award granted by the Spanish Association of Classical Music Festivals. In 2016 they released their latest album Miracle of Love (arias and opera duets by Francesco Cavalli) with countertenor Xavier Sabata.


The festival continues on Friday 2 April with Santa Maria. Music in the times of Alfonso X the wise, Chapel Ministrers. Under the direction of Carles Magraner, the group presents their latest album Cantigas de Santa María by Alfonso X el SabiO (1221 – 1284), in a concert that addresses the well-known work of the King of Castile, of León and other kingdoms of the time such as Murcia and Seville. The album compiles various works that commemorate a triple anniversary: he 800 monarch anniversary, the Xacobeo Holy Year and the tenth edition of Early Music Morella. In this journey through medieval music, the public will be delighted with the most significant works of the period such as ‘Loor de Santa María’ (Cantigas of King Alfonso X the Wise), the 'Song of the Sibyl' (liturgical drama of Gregorian melody) and the compositions of the Red Book of the Montserrat Monastery.


Since its inception in 1987, Chapel of the group Ministrers (directed by Carles Magraner) has developed an important task of research and musicology from the Middle Ages to the 19th century in favor of the Spanish musical heritage. The result, transformed into musical testimony, perfectly combines three key factors: historical rigor, the musical sensitivity and, especially, an irrepressible desire to communicate and participate in these experiences. Of international projection, Capella de Ministrers has participated in the most renowned festivals and concerts both in Spain and abroad. Winner of several awards, among which the Best Record Production awarded by the Ministry of Culture stands out., his work has transcended artistic borders collaborating with different choreographers and film directors.


The meeting closes on Saturday 3 March with Motets and lamentations of Cristóbal de Morales, La Grande Chapelle. Directed by Albert Recasens, The group pays tribute to the great Spanish composer Cristóbal de Morales (1500 – 1553) and its essential repertoire of the most important churches and cathedrals in Spain and America until the end of the Modern Age.


With an extraordinary prestige among theorists and historians, Morales was particularly interested in the texts of Lent, including celebrations of Ash Wednesday and Sundays of the Septuagint, Fiftieth and Sixtieth. In this concert, La Grande Chapelle interprets a careful selection of motets for the Lenten season, that he published in disk format a year and a half ago. The program is completed with the lamentations of Holy Thursday and Good Friday – recovered a few years ago from the manuscripts of the Cathedral of Puebla and the Capella Giulia of the Vatican- and with one of the famous Magnificats that made Morales so famous.


La Grande Chapelle, founded in 2005 and with its own stamp, is a vocal and instrumental ensemble of early music with a European vocation, whose main objective is to make a new reading of the great Spanish vocal works of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, with special predilection for production of the Baroque policoral. Both the group and its label have received numerous national and international awards, among them “Orphées d’Or” (Lyrical Disc Academy of Paris, in 2007 Y 2009), “Stamp of the year” of the “Prelude Classical Music Awards 2007” (Holland) O “5 by Diapason”, Scherzo's Exceptional CD, “Classica Shock”. In 2010, I received the Award FestClásica (Spanish Association of Classical Music Festivals), for his contribution to Spanish interpretation and retrieval of unreleased music.