The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
Catalan soprano Montserrat Figueras was born in Barcelona on 15 March 1942 into a family of music lovers. With her sister Pilar Figueras she studied techniques for singing early music and developed a special approach which combined vitality with historical accuracy. She developed a large vocal repertoire spanning the Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, and was instrumental in the rediscovery of an exceptional and eclectic musical heritage.
Figueras married Jordi Savall in 1968, and in 1974 they founded the early music ensemble Hespèrion XX with Lorenzo Alpert and Hopkinson Smith. Figueras also performed and recorded regularly as a solo artist. She and Savall were later members of the newer ensemble Hespèrion XXI, and founded La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations.
In 2003 she became an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by the French government.
Montserrat Figueras died on 23 November 2011, aged 69, following a long illness.
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