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LES 4 GRANS CRÒNIQUES

2025LES 4 GRANS CRÒNIQUESA unique and unprecendeted musical journey (s.XIII-XIV).A monumental musical project to write a tetralogy (four operas) based on each book of the Great Catalan Medieval Chronicleswork in progress...

PROGRAM NOTES

The four major chronicles are:
1- Crònica I de Jaume I 2- Crònica II de Bernat Desclot 3- Crònica III de Ramon Muntaner 4- Crònica IV de Pere el Ceremoniós

The Chronicle of James I or Book of the facts. It seems that the conquest of Mallorca (1229) promoted the writing and the work had to be almost finished shortly before the death of James I. However, the copies we have are later (the oldest manuscript preserved is 1343 ). It narrates, in an autobiographical way, the most important life and exploits of the king (especially the conquests of Mallorca and Valencia). History begins with its birth and ends with its death (from 1208 to 1276). Although dictated by Jaume himself, the work was written by writers.
The Chronicle of Bernat Desclot or Llibre del rei in Pere d'Aragó and his past predecessors. Written by Bernat Desclot in 1288. It narrates the historical events that have taken place since the reign of Ramon Berenguer IV to Peter the Great, although the main nucleus of this chronicle focuses on the latter.
The Chronicle of Ramon Muntaner. It was written between 1325 and 1328. It is the longest in Catalan literature and focuses on the reign of James II the Fair, which reigned between 1291 and 1327, but also refers to previous periods based on in songs of feat and in previous chronicles. Ramon Muntaner was a military man, a diplomat and the trusted man of the kings of the Casal de Barcelona. He participated in the Eastern Catalan company, commanded by Roger de Flor. The work is didactic, written so that future governors who are in similar situations know what a good monarch would do. The patriotic and religious exaltation and the unconditional loyalty of the Casal de Barcelona impregnate the work from head to to to toe. The style is direct, with proverbs and popular twists; the work was written to be read aloud.
The Chronicle of Peter the Ceremonious. Written on the initiative of Peter the Ceremonious, but not written by him, he explains some important facts of his reign. The main goals that he wanted to achieve were to strengthen the monarchy and give him prestige, as well as justify his acting as king. Although the Chronicle was written by the secretaries of the Chancellery, the intervention of the monarch is noted, mainly when he explains his memories, his aspirations, his feelings and his reflections.
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Literary catalan prose emerged with the Homilies d'Organyà (12th- or 13th-century homilies found in the parish of Organyà in the county of Urgell) but did not flourish until the end of the 13th century. Four great chronicles, together with the works of Ramon Llull, represent the peak of medieval Catalan prose. The anonymous chronicle Llibre dels feyts del rey en Jacme ("Book of the Deeds of King James"), compiled after James I's death in 1276 but purportedly autobiographical, is distinguished by its skill of narration and its quality of language. The same qualities are present in Ramon Muntaner's chronicle, which combines accounts of the Grand Catalan Company's expedition to the Morea in southern Greece, of the failed French invasion of Catalonia, and of King James II's conquest of Sardinia. Bernat Desclot's chronicle deals with the reign of King Peter III; King Peter IV planned and revised the last of the four great chronicles.
Llull's encyclopaedic works, written in Catalan, Arabic, and Latin, cover every branch of medieval knowledge. His exhaustive theological treatise Llibre de contemplació en Déu (c. 1272; "Book of the Contemplation of God") begins the golden age of Catalan literature; it also provides a wealth of information on 13th-century Catalan society. His Llibre d'Evast e Blanquerna (c. 1284; "Book of Evast and Blanquerna") is the founding text of Catalan fiction. Known as Blanquerna, it is the narrative of the lives of Blanquerna and his parents, Evast and Aloma, whose marriage comes to represent an ideal Christian marriage; successive chapters tell of stages in the life of Blanquerna, who ascends from altar boy to the papacy but then abandons his throne to enter monastic life. The narrative aims at representing all aspects of Christian existence. It includes the Llibre d'amic e amat (The Book of the Lover and the Beloved), a masterpiece of Christian mysticism. Llull's Llibre de l'orde de cavalleria (between 1275 and 1281; The Book of the Order of Chivalry) and Félix (c. 1288) are didactic works in a narrative framework.
Bernat Metge translated Giovanni Boccaccio's story of Griselda from Petrarch's Latin version and, clothing his scholastic learning with poetic imagination, achieved the stylistic masterpiece of early Catalan prose. Metge also wrote Lo somni (c. 1409; The Dream of Bernat Metge) in the tradition of medieval fantasy literature; the narrator converses with mythological characters and with the dead John I, who, from purgatory, exculpates Metge. The chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanc (c. 1460; Eng. trans. Tirant lo Blanc) by Joanot Martorell and Martí Joan de Galba offers a fictional treatment of Catalan exploits in the Middle East. The anonymous Curial e Güelfa (late 14th century; Eng. trans. Curial and Guelfa) draws on Desclot, the only other Catalan romance to do so.
ESCRITS i MEMÒRIA I - Les Croniques Catalanes a la Biblioteca de Catalunya.pdf