Cristóbal de Morales at the Burns Library

His Missarum liber primus comes to life in Boston, and in Toledo, Spain

The Music of 16th Century Toledo is Unveiled at Boston College

The Ensemble Plus Ultra performs in the Burns Library Tower, November 17, 2013.

The Ensemble Plus Ultra performs in the Burns Library Tower, November 17, 2013.

In the autumn of 2011, Boston College’s Burns Library acquired Cristóbal de Morales’s Missarum liber primus (1544). Two years later, Ensemble Plus Ultra, a group of British early music singers founded in 2001 by Michael Noone, Chair of the BC Music Department, came to the Burns Library to perform Morales’s music directly from his Missarum itself, just as it was originally sung in 16th-Century Toledo. Transforming the works of this great Spanish composer from archived print to live music demonstrates what a library can do to unlock the treasures that are held in its collections.

A behind-the-camera look at their groundbreaking performance

A behind-the-camera look at their groundbreaking performance.

The Burns Library Entrance became a concert hall for one magical afternoon.

The Burns Library Entrance became a concert hall for one magical afternoon.

John Burns's portrait presides over this unique performance of Morales's

John Burns’s portrait presides over this unique performance of Morales’s Missarum.

Michael Noone and the Ensemble prepare for the next selection.

Michael Noone and the Ensemble prepare for the next selection.

Recording Engineer Jim Donahue sets up his studio in the library's Fine Print Room.

Recording Engineer Jim Donahue sets up his studio in the library’s Fine Print Room.

Theatrical lighting also brings out the best in a Renaissance tapestry.

Theatrical lighting also brings out the best in a Renaissance tapestry.

Microphones are raised to capture every note.

Microphones are raised to capture every note.

Michael Noone and Bridget Burke spend an afternoon with an old friend.

Michael Noone and Bridget Burke enjoy an afternoon with an old friend.

Five-hundred-year-old music requires careful study.

Five-hundred-year-old music requires careful study.

Director of Photography Ken Willinger confirms all the cameras are in position.

Director of Photography Ken Willinger confirms all the cameras are in position.

Michael Noone and Cameron Kirkpatrick of K&M Productions review the music behind the afternoon's performance.

Michael Noone and Cameron Kirkpatrick of K&M Productions review the music behind the afternoon’s performance.

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One thought on “The Music of 16th Century Toledo is Unveiled at Boston College

  1. Michael Henry on said:

    A great behind-the-scenes look at the preparations for the wonderful performance you gave us tonight. Thank you!

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