• Polyphony in Évora Cathedral in the Eighteenth Century: The Lenten Motets by Afonso Lobo

    Luís Henriques (see profile)
    Item Type:
    18th Century, Choirbook, motet, polyphony, Évora Cathedral
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    Évora established itself in the sixteenth century as one of the most important Portuguese musical centres, maintaining that status until the 1820s Liberal Revolution. This activity was mostly centred in the Cathedral, although some other numerous religious institutions maintained a certain dynamic, which served as both a centre for musical practice during religious services and as a teaching institution – the so-called Claustra – which formed musicians for the Cathedral’s music chapel and local institutions and also for other Portuguese and foreign churches. Although we know the music of composers who studied at the Cathedral but developed their compositional activity in other institutions, not much is kown of the musical output of composers in Évora Cathedral during the last decades of the seventeenth century and early eighteenth century, which mostly survives in six choirbooks copied in the second half of the eighteenth century. This paper focuses on a group of five motets for the Sundays of Lent only extant at Évora Cathedral attributed to an Afonso Lobo. Although frequently attributed to the Spanish composer Alonso Lobo, these works have features that resemble more the music composition of earlier and later composers at the service of the Cathedral than of the Spanish composer. After careful examination of works by earlier seventeenth-century composers such as Diogo Dias Melgaz and Pedro Vaz Rego and later eighteenth-century composers such as André Roiz Lopo, António Ignacio Celestino, and Francisco José Perdigão, it is more likely that these works by Lobo were part of a local late tradition of writing a capella motets for the four Sundays of Lent, Passion Sunday that can be traced as far as to earlier seventeenth-century composers such as Estêvão Lopes Morago and Frei Manuel Cardoso.
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    7 years ago
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