sábado, 6 de julio de 2013

The Choir Project al día [06-VII-2013]

Sebastián de Vivanco [c. 1551-1622]: Quæ est ista à 5.
Capilla Flamenca - Dirk Snellings.
The talent in Hispanic polyphony.

  Robert Stevenson wrote about Vivanco:
"(b Avila, c1551; d Salamanca, 26 Oct 1622). Spanish composer. He was born in the same town as Victoria, and was his close contemporary; he presumably studied with the same cathedral maestros.

  On 4 July 1576 the Lérida Cathedral chapter dismissed Vivanco from the post of maestro de capilla ‘for causes that do not affect his honour’. On 9 October 1576 he was already under consideration for the equivalent post at Segovia Cathedral, and on 9th February he was formally hired on the recommendation of examiners who deemed him worth much more than the half-prebend that was being offered to him. His services were so meritorious that he was frequently awarded bonuses for extra music on feast days. He resigned on 31 August 1587 in order to accept the post of maestro de capilla at Avila Cathedral. Earlier that month he had been invited by Seville Cathedral to become Guerrero's assistant there, and, perhaps prompted by financial difficulties at Avila, he visited Seville, taking charge of the choristers on 29 February 1588. However, on 12 March he informed the authorities in Seville that he did not wish to stay, and returned to Avila, where he remained until Salamanca Cathedral appointed him maestro de capilla on 20 October 1602. At a formal competition on 19 February 1603, presided over by a panel that included the previous music professor of Salamanca University, Bernardo Clavijo de Castillo, he was appointed university professor there. On 4 March he became Master of Arts.

  In 1607 Artus Taberniel, the Antwerp-born printer based in Salamanca, published in luxurious folio Vivanco's Liber magnificarum, then in 1608 ten masses, and in 1610 a large collection of motets. Studies of his works have established Vivanco as one of the leading composers of his age. He was capable of writing canons of ingenious complexity as well as movements of great expression. Not a parodist in any conventional sense, he selected instead top lines from his own motets O quam suavis and Assumpsit Jesus for intensive rhythmic and contrapuntal reworking in his masses of the same names. In a manuscript held in Valladolid (E-V 1) his masses on Doctor bonus and O quam suavis are renamed ‘Tone V’ and ‘Tone I’. These titles, however, are open to question since the finals are G with no flat and D with one flat. His Missa super octo tonos began a practice observed by the Évora composer Pedro Vaz Rego a century later (in his Missa omnitonum) of basing a mass on the eight psalm-tone cadential formulae, strung together into a thread of melody. Like Bernardino de Ribera, he reserved his most erudite canons for the Sanctus of his masses rather than the final Agnus, as was more usual. Vivanco's pair of Lady Masses, one for feasts, one for Saturdays (without Credo), his Quarti toni (unusual because the last Agnus ends on A), and Sexti toni (on F) complete his list of four-part masses. The six-part Missa Crux fidelis and the eight-part Missa In manus tuas reveal his profound skill in vocal part-writing. In his use of harmonics he stayed principally within the vocabulary of his age, but employed numerous augmented triads and bold false relations."

  This is another case of wonderful hispanic composer overshadowed by the great masters of "Siglo de Oro".
Sebastián de Vivanco was a composer of great talent, but he was forgotten until the twentieth century, when has been rediscovered her figure.

  This album is especially curious, because this was edited by "Las Edades del Hombre", a religious-artistic fundation in Castilla y León [Spain] which has been organizing annual exhibitions of sacred art in this region since 1991. 
 This recording is really amazing -I think is the first album devoted entirely to Vivanco- and today is really complex to find a copy, except in the exhibitions of the foundation -I have one copy, of course.
Capilla Flamenca and Oltremontano -ensemble of minstrels perform this music with very naturally, leaving the lines flow and the beauty of counterpoint and imitation stand out for their amazing quality.

  Essential album and indispensable master.

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