The Festival de Músicas Contemplativas begins today in Santiago de Compostela with a first concert by French organist Bernat Bailbé.
Born in Thuir (Rosellón, France), his interest in music was aroused by listening to the parish organ. He began studying music in the same town, continuing thereafter in the conservatories of Perpignan and Tolouse, piano with Michel PEUS (a student of A. Cortot), organ with Xavier Parasse and Willem Jansen, harpsichord with the latter. From 1977 to 1980 he studied with Montserrat Torrent.
He also regularly continued with courses imparted by maestros of varied traditions. He has performed frequently in concerts in France and Spain, as a soloist and with other groups and instrumentalists or singers. In 1978 he was appointed as San Felipe Neri's organist in Barcelona, a position he still holds, presenting an ever-changing repertoire of more than 600 composers from the Middle Ages to our time. He is a founding member of the Catalonian Organ Association.
The programme is conceived to illustrate two aspects of the Holy Week: death and resurrection (internalisation and brightness). The Spanish repertoire has no specific pieces for this occasion since the organ was not played during Lent and Easter texts are not used to designate 'Tientos.' These were played during the offertory and 'Tientos de falsas' during the elevation. We have to turn to Germany and England (and France to a lesser extent) for organ pieces composed for this liturgical moment. The Pange Lingua is for the feast of the Holy Sacrament, although it is also used at the end of the Holy Thursday ceremony.