Howard & Moretti – Sound and Space in Renaissance Venice

Deborah Howard and Laura Moretti – Sound & Space in Renaissance Venice: Architecture, Music, Acoustics

While composers of sacred music in 16th-century Venice were devising increasingly complex choral polyphony, Venetian architects began to develop new configurations of sacred space. This fascinating book explores the direct relationship between architectural design and sacred music in Renaissance Venice. (mais…)

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…)

Estêvão Lopes Morago’s “Commissa mea pavesco”

ListeningEstêvão Lopes Morago’s (c.1575-c.1630) motet pro defunctis Comissa mea pavesco is, for me, one of the most “word-paintfull” works that I know of polyphony written in Portugal. This motet is scored for six voices (SSAATB). In this case, it’s a masterwork by an almost unknown composer who lived all his life in Viseu, a city in the interior of Portugal. (mais…)

Filipe de Magalhães’s “Commissa mea pavesco”

Listening2The motet Commissa mea pavesco by Portuguese composer Filipe de Magalhães (c.1571-1652) is most certainly one of his best compositions and an extraordinary work, full of “word painting” moments. The motet ends the 1636 Liber Missarum, printed in Lisbon by Lourenço Craesbeeck. This is one of the characteristic motets that were included in the Officium Defunctorum (in the Liber Missarum it follows the six-voice Missa pro Defunctis). It is scored for six voices (SSAATB). (mais…)

Manuel Mendes’s “Asperges me” a 8

Listening2Of the few surviving works of Manuel Mendes, this setting of the antiphon Asperges me stands out among his other works mostly because of the number of voices used, although the catalogue of King João IV’s musical library indicates the presence of motets by Mendes using textures of five, six and eight voices. This setting is scored, as above mentioned, for eight voices (SSAATTBB), not using double-choir writing. An indication in the manuscript source states that some of the voices were added by Soares. There is no reference to which voices in particular were added but it is known that the original work was set for five voices being three added by this “Soares”. (mais…)

Pedro de Cristo’s “Ave Maria” a 8

ListeningD. Pedro de Cristo (c.1555-1618) was mainly active in the Monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra. All his known music comes from the manuscript sources (mainly P-Cug MM 8, 18 and 33) that are now kept at the Biblioteca Geral da Universidade in Coimbra.

Ave Maria is one of the finest examples of Pedro de Cristo’s mastery in writing polyphonic music and one of my favourite works of Portuguese polyphony. This is a double-choir work (SAAT+SATB), full of decorative figures in the tutti passages. There is one section (“Spiritus Sanctos…”) where the number of voices is reduced. The texture is predominantly polyphonic with only some brief moments of homophony. (mais…)