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Edición 2001


Obras de Francisco Guerrero y Alonso Lobo


Auditorio del Hospital de Santiago (ÚBEDA)


6 de diciembre de 2001


Mark Brown




Foto de componentes

CONTRATENORES: Paul Esswood, Timothy Penrose.
TENORES: James Griffett, Richard Ireland, Andrew King.
BAJOS: Stephen Roberts, Adrian Peacock.



La Pasión de Nuestro Señor, de Alonso Lobo


Missa Pro Defunctis (1582), de Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)

Notas programa

Por Martyn Imrie

Francisco Guerrero was born in 1528 in the city of Seville. He worked there in the service of the Cathedral almost all his life until his death in 1599, renowned throughout the Hispanic domains in Europe and the New World, the best-known Spanish composer of his time. The fame of Morales and the supremacy of Victoria in modern estimation have overshadowed Guerrero's great gifts of expression and sublime melodic invention. His works are only now emerging in their true glory, in modern editions and performances.

The younger brother of Pedro, also a fine musician, their father a painter, Francisco Guerrero became the most influential and respected composer in the Spain of Philip II. Trained by Pedro and learning his art as a chorister at Seville Cathedral, Guerrero was also tutored by Cristóbal de Morales: '... always desirous of improving myself, I received instruction from that great and excellent master' (from the prologue to El viage de Hierusalem). From Pacheco (in his Book of True Portraits) we learn that Guerrero possessed a beautiful high tenor voice ('escogido voz de contra alto'). Had he been a falsettist, as has sometimes been suggested, he would have been described as a tiple. Certainly he was versatile and gifted, playing the organ, vihuela, harp and cornett.

As a young man, Guerrero served some three years as maestro at Jaén Cathedral, being appointed in his eighteenth year, but thereafter he spent his whole career at Seville in the service of that most splendid Spanish ecclesiastical establishment, rivalled only by Toledo. He went abroad on a few occasions, to Rome in 1581/2 when he met Victoria; and then to Venice in 1588 on his way to Jerusalem. He met Zarlino at St Mark's; the great maestro and theorist agreed to proof-read two of Guerrero's publications, a book of motets and the Canciones y villanescas espirituales, which subsequently appeared in 1589.

Guerrero published two books of Masses, Psalms, hymns and canticles for Vespers, more than one hundred motets, music for the office of the Dead, two Passions, and a collection of religious villancicos in Castilian. More religious and secular pieces, among them Passions, Lamentations and a Missa L'Homme armé, survive in manuscripts. The extant published collections span the years 1555 to 1597.

It might appear that Guerrero made two settings of the Requiem Mass, the first published in the1566 Liber primus missarum..., the second printed in the 1582 Rome collection. However, a wide-ranging revision of the Liturgy had been carried out by the Council of Trent (1545 - 1563): thus Guerrero's earlier setting contains some texts which became obsolete after the issue of the Missal of 1570; these were omitted from the 1582 Requiem to which was added a substantial Libera me (and the extra-liturgical motet, Hei mihi). The Introitus, Kyrie, Graduale, Offertorium, Sanctus1 and Agnus Dei were carried over from the 1566 version, with minor revisions and alterations. Guerrero composed two new settings of the Communion, again for four and for five voices, to replace those of 1566 with their unrevised text.

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