Estêvão Lopes Morago

18-08-06 LISTN Estêvão Lopes Morago

Lis­bon at the time of Lopes Mor­ago: a global entrepôt.

Much of the artis­tic achieve­ment of the Por­tuguese Renais­sance was destroyed by the great Lis­bon Earth­quake of 1755, which killed 30,000 peo­ple. Among the losses where most of the works of the com­poser Estêvão Lopes Mor­ago (c.1575 — after 1630). But some of his work that sur­vives indi­cates that he was very good. I have only five short pieces, recorded by the Gul­benkian Foun­da­tion choir on their Por­tu­galiae Musica series. All are poly­phonic pieces, four of them for four voices, one for a dou­ble choir of 3 and 4 parts each. The most beau­ti­ful is the Jesu redemp­tor, which is a litany for the dead, pray­ing for Christ to accept the soul of the departed, and per­haps sung dur­ing the cortège, between the house of the deceased and the church. Mor­ago was actu­ally a Spaniard, but appar­ently spent most of his life in Por­tu­gal as choir-master of the Cathe­dral of Viseu.

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