José Antonio Montaño has given us the first-ever recording of one of the great musical works of 18th Century Spain—José de Nebra’s Requiem Mass and Office of the Dead. This historic recording follows on the heels of Maestro Montaño’s performance of the work in observance of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death, and it will be published under the prestigious German label Note 1, the Pan Classics division.
Montaño’s recording of this special work should do much to spread the fame of José de Nebra (1702-1768), considered by many the best composer of the Spanish baroque. It was Montaño’s wish to bring this work to life using the combined talents of three musical groups of reference in historically informed performance: La Madrileña, an orchestra of period instruments founded by Montaño himself; the Coro Victoria, directed by Ana Fernández-Vega and which specializes in Renaissance polyphony; and the Schola Antiqua, directed by Juan Carlos Asensio and which specializes in Gregorian chant.
This recording project was the culmination of Montaño’s major work of researching and editing the musical score, a task for which he turned to the Real Capilla’s original score and related materials. De Nebra’s score has been housed in the Archives of the Palacio Real de Madrid since the Requiem’s premiere in 1758 to commemorate the death of Doña Bárbara de Braganza, Queen of Spain.
Montaño has dedicated the recording to the memory of Maestro Jesus López Cobos, who passed away around the time this project was being realized. Montaño had continued to collaborate closely with Maestro López Cobos ever since their tenure together at the Teatro Real.