sábado, 29 de junio de 2013

The Choir Project al día [29-VI-2013]

Juan [de] Esquivel Barahona [c. 1563-a. 1612]: Veni Domine, et noli tardare à 5.
Pro Cantione Antiqua - Bruno Turner.
Not only are Morales, Guerrero & Victoria.

We can find, in The New Grove, about Juan [de] Esquivel:
"(b Ciudad Rodrigo, c1563; d ?Ciudad Rodrigo, after 1612). Spanish composer. He was a pupil of Juan Navarro (i), maestro de capilla of Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral (1574–8). Esquivel was maestro de capilla at Oviedo Cathedral from 15 November 1581 to 4 October 1585, at Calahorra Cathedral from 29 November 1585 to some time between 1 January 1591 and 6 July 1595 and thereafter at Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral from before 1608 to at least 1613. The Dominican Pedro Ponce de León, Bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo from 1605 to 1609, was his patron, and paid the printing costs of his three collections of Latin church music.

Esquivel was one of the most prolific, and also one of the finest Spanish composers of his time; his motets stand comparison with those of Victoria on the same texts. The first of his publications, Missarum … liber primus (1608), includes three masses based on Guerrero motets and a six-voice batalla based on Janequin's La bataille. Two of the four-voice masses in his 1613 Liber secundus are parodies: one on Guerrero's motet Quasi cedrus and the other on Rodrigo de Ceballos's widely circulated motet Hortus conclusus. In masses from both collections as well as his motets Esquivel combines old techniques such as cantus firmus ostinatos and canonic construction with the newer procedures characteristic of the generation of Alonso Lobo: harmony coloured by the use of accidentals, paired imitation in direct or contrary motion, climaxes in a high register for particularly poignant texts, dramatic pauses and contrasts of texture. His works were used extensively in Spain and Portugal throughout the 17th century and reached Mexico before 1610."

This composer was one of the most important figures in Spanish music of the sixteenth century. Unfortunately over the years has made it a virtually unknown composer, clearly overshadowed by the great masters Cristóbal de Morales, Francisco Guerrero, Alonso Lobo, Sebastián de Vivanco and especially Tomás Luis de Victoria.
Today it is very difficult to find some of his works on a CD. This track is one of the few examples we have, on which the passage of time has left its mark.

This performance is faithful with use of male voices and lineas, but the quality of these voices is clearly overcome by the current versions of other ensembles. In any case, we congratulate Turner and his singers to show the attention they deserve Renaissance Spanish masters.

1 comentario:

Luís Henriques dijo...

Indeed Mário, a great master that is still overshadowed by other great names of Spanish music. I think that is the common case in times when there are many people doing fantastic music at the same time (i.e Bach's, Beethoven's time).

Turner is in fact an unforgetable name in the reviving of these composers but they are historical recordings, a mark in a time that has passed, their "ancient voices" are in nowadays aesthetically obsolete.

Best wishes,