Manuel Cardoso • Magnificat Primi Toni

Manuel CardosoManuel Cardoso (1566-1650) was one of the greatest Portuguese composers of the first half of the seventeenth century. His music was printed in half of dozen of prints in which is included the Magnificat Primi Toni. As the title suggests, this work was part of the Cantica Beatae Viriginis – vulgo Magnificat – printed in Lisbon in the year of 1613. As it is usual in this kind of publications, the text of the Magnificat is set according to the eight ecclesiastical modes in two versions: one for the even verses and another for the odd verses. (mais…)

Pero de Gamboa’s “O bone Jesu”

ListeningPero de Gamboa (†1638) is one of our finest Portuguese 16th-century composers. His surviving works are made of a dozen motets, a Te Deum laudamus, and smaller works as is the case of a Jesu redemptor. That is probably why Gamboa’s music hasn’t been much performed until the last decade. The motet O bone Jesu is written for four voices (SATB).This motet, as the others, has a very powerful rhetoric expressiveness, although the predominant imitative textures and the clarity and preciseness in the polyphonic writing. (mais…)

Tomas L. de Victoria’s “O Sacrum Convivium”

VictoriaSuggested by a friend (who didn’t know the amazing work she was singing…), here is one of the most interesting motets by Tomás Luis de Victoria I have ever listen to. What amazed me most in this work was its – I may called it – micro polychoral structure. The motet is set for six voices (SAATTB) but, in this texture another polychoral texture emerges, with 3 or even 4 paired voices, that gives a whole new dimension to this work. It is a good example of the mastery of six-voice settings by late mannerist composers. The motet was published in the 1572 book of motets and in the the following books. (mais…)

Tomás Luis de Victoria • O quam gloriosum

VictoriaA musical suggestion for today, Feast of All Saints. Tomás Luis de Victoria bring us a fine example from his musical output: the four-voice motet O Quam Gloriosum. This motet has the indication In Omnium Sanctorum (for All Saints) and was published in the Book of motets of 1572 and republished in 1583, 1585, 1589 and 1603, showing that it was a very popular work. Based on this motet, Victoria wrote later a parody mass also for four voices. (mais…)

Filipe de Magalhães’s Missa “O Soberana Luz”

Filipe de Magalhães (c.15 -1652) is among the finest Portuguese composers of the first half of the 17th century. He studied at Évora Cathedral with Manuel Mendes (c.1547-1605), succeeding him in the post of mestre da claustra at Évora Cathedral. He then moved to Lisbon, where he became choirmaster at the Misericórdia and mestre de música in the Royal Chapel. (mais…)

Giovanni P. da Palestrina’s Missa “Assumpta Est Maria”

After writing about Palestrina’s motet Assumpta Est Maria, I could not pass without droping some lines on the mass based on this motet, one of Palestrina’s best known masses together with the Missa Papae Marcelli.

The Missa Assumpta Est Maria is set for six voices (SSATTB) and expresses the joy and vitaly of the festivity for which it is destinated (Assumption of the Virgin Mary), through exhuberant melodic lines combined with elaborate decorative elements. Palestrina combines in this work the clarity and balance of his earlier works with a clear Baroque attention towards vertical sonority. (mais…)