Isabella and Ferdinand in Capilla Real in Granada. Source: Wikipedia

Newly Discovered Requiem Mass by Antonio Gallego c. 1530

Until recently a requiem by the Spanish Composer, Antonio Gallego, was totally unknown. Currently, a project is crowdsourcing funds to get it performed.

Missa Pro Defunctis by Antonio Gallega © Virginia Florentin
Missa Pro Defunctis by Antonio Gallega © Virginia Florentin

Antonio Gallego was a Spanish Renaissance composer,  until recently quite unknown. His Missa pro Defunctis was discovered in a forgotten manuscript in the Cathedral of Valladolid. (Archive of Valladolid Cathedral, Manuscript volume 5)

The manuscript contains three requiem masses:

  1. Requiem Mass by Antonio Gallego (c.1530)
  2. Requiem Mass by Pedro de Escobar (ca. 1465 – post 1535)
  3. Requiem Mass by Pedro de Escobar (ca. 1465 – post 1535)

As opposed to the work of Gallego, compositions of Pedro de Escobar (Pedro do Porto) are relatively well-known. Especially the mass composed for the funeral of Isabel the Catholic, and later performed at the funeral of her husband, Ferdinand the Catholic. This mass was one of the earliest pieces of polyphonic music composed in the Iberian Peninsula. The manuscript tradition is nevertheless rather spurious and the newly found manuscript represents an important addition.

Pedro de Escobar (c. 1465–1535) lived at the same time as Josquin Desprez (c. 1440–1525). Escobar’s music possesses some of the same delicate and sweet, yet mournful sound as that of the famous French composer. Earlier, this kind of music was considered inherently “Spanish”. Today, however, music historians acknowledge the French and Flemish impact on the Spanish compositions. Yet, musicians as Pedro de Escobar also composed Cancións as well as Villancicos reminiscent of Spanish singing tradition in the early renaissance, thus establishing a distinct sound different from other parts of Europe (just compare Christmas Carols from Scandinavia with traditional Spanish Christmas Villancicos and you will hear the difference immediately).

As to the Requiem Mass of Antonio Gallego nothing much is as yet known. It awaits a performance. Anyone interested in early Spanish renaissance music now have the opportunity to contribute here. Donators will receive a pdf- file with a more detailed presentation of the music.

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Isabella and Ferdinand in Capilla Real in Granada. Source: Wikipedia

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Companion to Music in the Age of the Catholic Monarchs
Ed. By Tess Knighton
BRILL 2016

The Companion to Music in the Age of the Catholic Monarchs, edited by Tess Knighton, offers a major new study that deepens and enriches our understanding of the forms and functions of music that flourished in late medieval Spanish society.

 

 

 

 

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Pedro de Escobar: Motets, Hymns & Missa pro defunctis