Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

The Music Archieve and Library at the Real Colegio-Semminario De Corpus Christi (Valencia)

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

The Music Archieve and Library at the Real Colegio-Semminario De Corpus Christi (Valencia)

Article excerpt

The music collection of the Real Colegio-Seminario de Corpus Christi (Valencia) [Royal College and Seminary of Corpus Christi in Valencia, Spain] houses upwards of 10,000 musical items (printed and manuscript part books and scores, books, recordings and music periodicals) and as such is one of the largest collections in the region of Valencia, Spain. Begun in the early seventeenth century as a working archive of music materials for the use of the Seminary choir, it has materials representing all periods since its inception, as well as prints and manuscript copies of music from early in the sixteenth century. Not surprisingly, its major strength is in sacred vocal music.

In 2006, the Instituto Valenciano de la Musica along with the Biblioteca Valenciana began a major project to reorganize the various music collections, music donations (legados) and music periodicals materials housed in the Royal College, and to catalogue (or recatalogue, as necessary) these items. This is being done according to the cataloging norms established by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and the results will become part of the electronic library network of the Biblioteca Valenciana, under the auspices of the Generalitat Valenciana. Along with this project, two other projects will operate in tandem. The first will focus on the restoration and conservation of the aging musical materials through the cooperation of the Instituto de Restauracion y Con servacion de Bienes Culturales and the University of Valencia, while the second will digitalize the manuscripts to preserve and facilitate access to the materials. Obviously, this involves an interdisciplinary team of professionals including musicologists, music cataloguers, librarians, specialists in paper and book restoration, and photography.

Background

Valencia is probably better known to musicologists as being associated with the Mystery of Elche, (2) the Duke of Calabria Ferdinand of Aragon (1488-1550), (3) or the composers Vicente Martin y Soler (1754-1806) and Joaquin Rodrigo Vidre (1901-1999). One of the main religious institutions in Valencia is the Real Colegio-Seminario de Corpus Christi, also known by its nickname "the College of the Patriarca," or simply the "Patriarca." It was founded by San Juan de Ribera (St. John de Ribera) (1532-1611), Patriarch of Antioch, Viceroy and Archbishop of Valencia. (4) The cornerstone for the structure was laid on 30 Octo ber 1582, and the foundation letter signed in 1592. (5) San Juan, although of illegitimate birth, belonged to the Enriquez de Ribera family and was raised in the Casa de Pilatos in Seville. (6) His grandfather, Fadrique, was Adelantado Mayor de Andalucia (Regional Governor of Andalucia, appointed by the King), Duke of Alcala, Marquis of Tarifa, Virrey (Viceroy) of Naples, and so on. As a result, San Juan grew up surrounded by mementoes of these travels, including nearly 200 Greek and Roman statues (or fragments thereof) and coins. Subsequently, several family members maintained a strong connection to the world of fine arts and the new humanistic movement.

While some have argued that the main courtyard of the Colegio de Corpus Christi bears resemblance to the main courtyard of the Casa de Pilatos, San Juan likely drew upon multiple inspirations for the building of the Colegio and its chapel. (7) The architectural value of the Colegio is such that in 1962 the building was declared a national monument, and the provincial government, the Generalitat Valenciana, listed it as a one of the important architectural and cultural sites in the province. The importance of the institution as a cultural site is further enhanced by the nearly 300 paintings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, (8) and a library of almost 2,000 books and incunabula, all donated by San Juan, which remain as part of the College's collection. (9) Both collections have been amplified over the years, by donations to the College and by purchases made by the institution. …

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