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My thanks to the wonderful Philadelphia Sinfonia, Gary White, music director, and their performance yesterday of the second and third movements of The Red Book of Montserrat. It’s a five-movement string orchestra suite Sinfonia’s commissioned; the official premiere is May 16th at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater.

These are settings of five of the ten songs from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, the 14th-century book of music from the monastery at Montserrat, Spain. It is a holy site of pilgrimage with a shrine to the Virgin.

The second movement, “O Virgo splendens,” is actually the first song (pictured above) in the Llibre.

The players sound terrific, and I was wowed by some difficult (I thought) passages they tore through easily. Can’t wait to hear the whole thing in May. Thanks to everyone!

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