Opening new sound horizons goes hand in hand with retracing the history of the spiritual traditions in which monasteries have played a decisive role in the medieval functioning of Europe. The Dominican order, whose origins lie in the Iberian Peninsula, is a particularly pertinent example of a pan-European monastic community. The project RESALVE focusses on the musical universe of the Dominican female convent of Aveiro as reflected in the earliest surviving collection of Dominican chant books in Portugal, produced by the sisters themselves between 1461 and 1525. Despite its written transmission, the Dominican repertoire, with its particularly beautiful Marian chants, can be considered ‘intangible cultural heritage’, mirroring local practices being transmitted from generation to generation through constant recreation. The antiphon Salve regina with its specific Dominican melody will be used as an example to examine the multiple use of Marian chants as liturgical, votive, intercessional or processional chants. Salve from late medieval Aveiro will be the starting point of an innovative and multidisciplinary approach illustrating the variability of sources and melodies and providing unique insight into a specific female chant repertoire through the application of musicological and historical methods. Aveiro’s sources will be explored as carriers of material and immaterial cultural heritage from two different perspectives: that of the music historian and that of the artist-performer. As this chant tradition has nearly disappeared today in Dominican communities, artistic performances and recordings are vital for its preservation. That is the reason why the candidate and the professional performers of her vocal ensemble Kantika want to launch a revival of Salve Regina and other chants from Aveiro as living history of sacred chants, for anyone who is interested in early music and how it is being interpreted today – uniting practical performance with excellent scholarship.
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