Some of the last Cantigas from the Princeps Codex of El Escorial, composed for specific celebrations of the year, are the early music repertoire chosen from Cantaderas for the program As Festas do Anno: the Immaculate Conception (cantiga n° 413), the Epiphany (n°424), the la Annunciation (n°415), la Assumption (n° 419), for the month of May (n°406) and the Ascension’s day (n° 420).
Cantaderas shapes with this program the most important celebrations of the agricultural and liturgical year: two interrelated realities, which gave a meaning and organized the daily life of the medieval society during centuries.
The program starts in December with the Virgin‘s Conception, goes through Christmas (Christmas songs, lullabies and a cantiga for the three Kings’ day), then the music brings us to the month of March: the beginning of the year in the roman calendar and in which the Annunciation of the Gabriel Angel takes place. Easter Week is one of the most important moments of the year and therefore especially rich: polyphonies and irregular rhythms emphasize the grief of the death (Calvary) and the joy of the Resurrection (Easter Songs). The month of May, the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary, arrives with a cantiga de Mayas, pilgrimages and love songs. Finally July and August are the months for the harvest’s benediction, the offers and the Mary’ s Assumption day.