The Catalan composer Narcís Casanoves was born in Sabadell near Barcelona on Feb 17th 1747 . Aged 16 on September 3rd 1763 he turned his back on a very promising career as a professional musician to become a Benedictine monk in the monastery at Montserat. Presumably the Abbot and his confrères were happy to welcome a talented musician whose fame was already starting to spread into their ranks. At any rate they made full use of his talents – he was active as a composer and organist from the day he joined until the day he died (April 1st 1799) and his fame spread far beyond Catalonia. By the time he died he'd composed a considerable body of work most of which is at Montserrat.
His organ compositions can sometimes be a bit … odd, they're very well written and eminently listenable to, but they're written in a manner that makes you think he'd far rather have been writing for the harpsichord or even the piano. Ah well, I'm sure he offered it up …
His vocal works are quite as well written as his instrumental pieces they're mostly settings of Latin liturgical texts and go far beyond his famous set of responsories for Holy Week. Amongst his works you'll find responsories, Masses, psalms, and Magnificats. All his works ranging from those where he used plainsong to his settings scored for paired four-voice choirs with continuo and orchestra are infused with a spirit of piety and devotion. In the music video below fold the boys choir of Santa Maria de Montserrat – the Benedictine abbey of Montserrat sing the Salve Regina from his Mass for six voices. Enjoy :-)