Convinced that a country’s cultural roots and traditions always have a decisive influence on the expression of its musical language, in 1987 Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras founded La Capella Reial (= LCRC) , one of the first vocal ensembles devoted to the interpretation of Hispanic Golden Age music according to historical principles and consisting exclusively of Hispanic and Latin voices.
Following the model of the famous “royal chapels” for which the great masterpieces of both religious and secular music were composed in the Iberian peninsula, this new “Capella Reial”, which in 1990 took the name of Capella Reial de Catalunya, was born as the result of more than 13 years of research and interpretation in the field of early music. Together with Hespèrion XX (founded in 1974), its main objective is to extend and deepen the fields of research into the specific characteristics of the Hispanic and European polyphonic vocal legacy before 1800. The hallmark of this ensemble is its approach to performance, which balances meticulous vocal sound quality and appropriateness to the style of the period with expressive diction and projection of the poetic text, always striving above all to convey the spiritual and artistic dimension peculiar to each individual work. Under the direction of Jordi Savall, it has an intense schedule of concert performances and recordings and regularly takes part in the principal music festivals around the world.
The repertoire and major recordings of the group, as reflected in its 25 CD’s, range from the Cantigas of King Alfonso the Wise and the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat to Mozart’s Requiem, and include, among others, the Golden Age Cancioneros and the great masters of the Renaissance and the Baroque periods, such as Mateu Flecha, Cristóbal de Morales, Francisco Guerrero, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Joan Cererols, Claudio Monteverdi, H. I. von Biber and, more recently, El Misteri d’Elx and Narcís Casanovas.
The ensemble has also taken part in the soundtrack of Jacques Rivette’s film Jeanne la Pucelle, on the life of Joan of Arc, and has performed in the operas Una cosa rara, by Vicente Martín y Soler, and Orfeo, by Claudio Monteverdi, staged at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu in 1991 and 1993, respectively. Orfeo was also staged at Teatro Real in Madrid (2000), the Konzerthaus in Vienna (2001), the Teatro Reggio in Turin (2000) and once again at the newly rebuilt Liceu in Barcelona (2001), the latter production being recorded in a BBC-Opus Arte DVD. Since 1990, La Capella Reial de Catalunya has received the official support of the Generalitat, the Autonomous Government of Catalonia.