Missas de Requiem in Early 17th-Century Lisbon: Traditions, Compositional Processes, Influences

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The Iberian Requiem mass had a long evolution, reaching its apogee perhaps in the settings of Victoria and 17th-century Portuguese composers Lobo, Cardoso and Magalhães. What survives is almost certainly the tip of the iceberg: evidence for many more settings exists in the catalogue of John IV's music library, and it becomes clear through analysis that composers knew settings circulating in earlier printed sources and manuscripts. Composer-chapelmasters were likely expected to write a Requiem as part of their remit and, like Victoria's Requiem, those by Portuguese composers were probably written for the exequies of royalty, nobility or dignitaries. This no doubt inspired a particular response or challenge: to write a work that was both appropriate for the occasion and a new personal expression, right from “dona eis”, the opening polyphonic phrase of the Introit. Cardoso's a6 setting (1625) opens with unexpected dramatic gestures partly resulting from recasting other settings, including those by Spanish composers and Manuel Mendes. Magalhães's Requiem (1636) shows close 61
relationships with Cardoso's, is extremely expressive, but also even recalls moments in early Franco-Flemish settings, including those of Okeghem, Brumel and others. This paper considers the evolution and development of Requiem masses in Portugal, focusing on those by Cardoso and Magalhães.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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