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The Palau de la Música Catalana (Catalan Music Palace)

Note the background singing of El Cant de la Senyera (“Song of the Senyera flag“), a composition for mixed chorus with music by composer Lluís Millet, lyrics based on a poem by Joan Maragall, composed expressly to be the hymn of the Orfeó Català choral group which is a permanent resident of the Palau de la Música Catalana. It debuted at Montserrat in 1896, in a ceremony in honor of the Senyera, a traditional flag of Catalonia.

The song, which speaks about the freedom of Catalonia, was prohibited 1939-1960 under the regime of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. In 1960, while Franco was on a rare visit to Barcelona, four of his ministers attended the centenary ceremony for poet Maragall at the Palau de la Música Catalana. The Civil Governor of Barcelona had authorized the concert, but forbade the playing of this particular song despite it being based on Maragall’s work. The orchestra played a musical arrangement of Cant de la Senyera, upon which a great number of atendees stood up and sang along marking a key turning point in the history of Catalan nationalism, a happening known as the Fets del Palau de la Música (“Events of the Palace of Music“). Dozens of people were arrested for singing along, among which Jordi Pujol -who later become President of Catalonia for over 23 years- who was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to seven years in prison

The song served as a de-facto Catalonian anthem, alongside Els Segadors though the latter has never been made official.

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Video: © cityblink

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