A recording made in the seventies in the Benedictine abbey of Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain. Quite a beautiful recording, and they’re singing responsoria for the time of Christmas. Responsoria are songs where one singer is being responded to by the rest of the congregation.
The earliest mention of Montserrat is from 1011, when a monk from Santa Maria de Ripoll, the founder of this abbey, was sent here to take charge. It was however founded on a place where supposedly in 880 a statue of the Virgin of Montserrat was found, leading to a cult.
Montserrat got bigger with the years, was all but destroyed in the Peninsular War (You know, Napoleon), was a hideout for rebellion during the Spanish Civil War and the Franco years, and all that time kept its importance as a place for religious retreat and contemplation. No wonder: the view from the mountain next to it is so spectacular, you can see most of Catalonia from it.