EFFEA Story: The woman in the baroque music

Residency of The Ministers of Pastime, presented by Festival Jordi Savall in partnership with Cistermúsica - Alcobaça Music Festival and Amis de Fontfroide

    We met at the Tarragona train station in mid-June. The landscape of southern Catalonia is an amalgam of forests, vineyards and medieval towns, a landscape that we had to cross by car to reach the Royal Monastery of Santes Creus.

    This Monastery was the setting for the artistic residency that we would begin and enjoy for five days. Five days of living together, sharing an 18th century house that, in its time, had been one of the monks' palaces. Five days of intense work to review, study and perform scores by female composers of the Italian Baroque. 

    It is not at all common for classical music repertoires to include works by female composers. The passage of time and our society have been responsible for the unfair oblivion experienced by many of the creators of our history. The artistic residency served to rescue scores by composers such as Barbara Strozzi, Maddalena Casulana and Isabella Leonarda, in addition to several anonymous compositions from the time of these composers. 

    But the artistic residency days also served to intensify the human bonds between the musicians and the festival management. We all shared the same space, we all shared the meals and also the nightly hours of conversation and discussion about music, our lives and our projects as young creators. 

    On the last day of the artistic residency, we wanted to get closer to the people of the town. About 100 people live in Santes Creus and on that occasion we offered a masterclass and concert open to all the inhabitants. We were able to share with them our research, the extraordinary music we had been preparing and also told them about the ancient instruments and how to play them. 

    After this artistic residency offered by the Jordi Savall Festival, the ensemble The Ministers of Pastime begins its concert tour in Portugal, France and Catalonia!

    by Pau Canivell - Fundació CIMA