Rogier van der Weyden Pietà

Planctus – Death and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages.

A new recording of Spanish medieval lamentations presents us with a haunting sound appropriate for Easter

Planctus Capella de Ministrers coverIn the Middle Ages a number of important musical compositions and elements were eschatological in tone as well as form. This macabre theme was reflected in a vide variety of music – laments, dances of the death, responsories, antiphons etc. The most important of these pieces of poetry cum music was of course the Dies Irae, probably written by Thomas of Celano in the 13th century, who is also known for having authored the first vitae of St. Francis. But also the laments or ‘dirge’ ususally known as a type of ‘planctus’ was widespread.

In this fascinating new Spanish recording of Medieval Music for the Dead, a number of such lamentations with a Spanish origin have been released in time for Easter 2015. The music is performed by the Capella de Ministrers, which has been led by Carles Magraner since 1987. The music was recorded in November 2014 at the University of Valencia in the Capella de la Sapiència del Centre Cultural la Nau.

The cover shows a detail from the Descent from the Cross by Roger van der Weyden, at present celebrated with an exhibition at Prado in Madrid.

The CD or the MP3-files are available at the website of the Capella de Ministers

Ove Juul Nielsen

Planctus. Muerte y apocalipsis en la Edad Media

CDM 1536
Conductor: Carles Magraner
Text: Maricarmen Gómez
Sound: Jorge García Bastidas (dbc estudios)


  • Elisa Franzetti, soprano
  • Gabriel Díaz, contratenor
  • Miguel Bernal, tenor
  • Tomás Maxé, Alt
  • Carles Magraner, viola and director
  • David Antich, flute
  • Manuel Vilas, harp
  • Ignasi Jordá, small organ
  • L’ Almodí Cor de Cambra, choir


  • Requiem æternam (GT 669)
  • Ples de tristor. Planh que fe Guiraut Riquier del sehnor de Narbona
  • Misa de Barcelona. Kyrie
  • Audi pontus, audi tellus (Códice de Las Huelgas)
  • De profundis (GT 673)
  • Sol eclypsim patitur. Planctus por el óbito de Fernando III el Santo
  • Dies irae (LU 1810)
  • Clangam, filii (Sequentia planctus cigni)
  • Domine Iesu Christe (GT 674)
  • Mentem meam ledit dolor. Planctus por el óbito de Ramón Berenguer IV
  • Misa de Notre-Dame de Kernascléden. Sanctus
  • Media vita in morte sumus (Defunctorum prosa)
  • Agnus Dei (LU 1815)
  • Ir tanczer und spranczer (Danza de la muerte)
  • Lux æterna (LU 1815)
  • In paradisum (LU 1768)