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CAPELLA SANCTÆ CRUCIS is a laboratory of study and performance focused on the Portuguese polyphony of the 16 and 17 centuries, created by Tiago Simas Freire in 2012. Part of the vast multidisciplinary project Mundos e Fundos of the Centre for Classical and Humanistic Studies of the University of Coimbra (CECH-UC), it builds bridges connecting research and musical practice, seeking a sound result that revives the value of Portuguese musical heritage that remains little known.

It owes its name to the musical chapel of the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, centre of an extraordinary artistic activity, namely in the 16 and 17 centuries, from where the musical sources that constitute the main study objects come from.

The passions that drive the team are evident: the emotion of maximum proximity to the sources; constant questioning and experimentalism; the admiration of the harmony of the spheres represented by Renaissance music; the enthusiasm for the emotional metamorphoses of early Baroque music; and the ambition to discover Portuguese repertoires that are little known to musicians and the general public.

Working mostly on unpublished manuscripts preserved in the General Library of University of Coimbra, the programmes are conceived to recreate the richness of the work's original context. Faithful to a philological approach, historically and culturally formed beyond what is expressed in the sources, the interpretation challenges and explores sound texture and balance, discourse and phrasing, instrumentation, and ornamentation. Present-day Man is thus transported, through aesthetic experience, to a widening of his imaginary, past, present, and future.

It performs in several international festivals and its projects are hosted in artistic residencies at CCR de Ambronay (EEEmerging), Riga’s Mazā Ģilde, Pavia Barrocca Festival, Cité de la Voix de Vézelay, Royaumont Foundation, CNCM Voce de Pigna and University of Coimbra, and receive sponsorships by Bullukian Foundation, Renaud Foundation, BCP bank, Centre National de Musique, DRAC Rhône-Alpes, Caixa Cultura Programme, Direcção Geral das Artes and Creative Europe.

After the release of its first album "Zuguambé" by Harmonia Mundi, CAPELLA SANCTÆ CRUCIS is behind the creation of a series of CD-books "Mundos e Fundos" in a partnership between the University of Coimbra and Artway Records, devoted to the rediscovery of Portuguese musical heritage.

More than an ensemble, it is a project to rescue a very rich and little-known musical heritage. Each concert is a new discovery of true sound cathedrals sleeping in the Portuguese archives. Each programme is a new page in its Music History.

Booking and Agency:

+351 91 437 71 44

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