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Cristobal de Morales

Cristobal Morales

Born: 1500 Died: 1553

Almost all of his music is sacred, and all of it is vocal, though instruments may have been used in an accompanying role in performance. He wrote many masses, some of spectacular difficulty, most likely written for the expert papal choir; he wrote over 100 motets; and he wrote 18 settings of the Magnificat, and at least five settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah (one of which survives from a single manuscript in Mexico). The Magnificats alone set him apart from other composers of the time, and they are the portion of his work most often performed today. Stylistically, his music has much in common with other middle Renaissance work of the Iberian peninsula, for example a preference for harmony heard as functional by the modern ear (root motions of fourths or fifths being somewhat more common than in, for example, Gombert or Palestrina), and a free use of harmonic cross-relations rather like one hears in English music of the time, for example in Thomas Tallis. Some unique characteristics of his style include the rhythmic freedom, such as his use of occasional three-against-four polyrhythms, and cross-rhythms where a voice sings in a rhythm following the text but ignoring the meter prevailing in other voices. Late in life he wrote in a sober, heavily homophonic style, but all through his life he was a careful craftsman who considered the expression and understandability of the text to be the highest artistic goal.

Morales's masses, of which 22 survive, use a variety of techniques, including cantus firmus and parody. Six masses are based on Gregorian chant, and these are mostly written in a conservative cantus-firmus style. Eight of his masses use the parody technique, including one for six voices based on the famous chanson Mille regretz, attributed to Josquin des Prez. The melody is arranged so that it is clearly audible in every movement, usually in the highest voice, giving the work considerable stylistic and motivic unity.

Morales also wrote two masses on the famous L'homme arme tune, which was so often set by composers in the late 15th century and 16th century; one of these is for four voices, and the other for five. The four voice mass uses the tune as a strict cantus firmus, and the setting for five voices treats it more freely, migrating it from one voice to another.

In addition, he wrote a Missa pro defunctis (a Requiem mass). Its peculiarities of transmission, as well as its apparent incomplete editing, suggest that it may be his last work.

Morales was the first Spanish composer of international renown. His works were widely distributed in Europe, and many copies made the journey to the New World. Many music writers and theorists in the hundred years after his death considered his music to be among the most perfect of the time.

The 'Parce mihi Domine' from his Officium Defunctorum was used as the key track (in three versions) on the best selling Jazz and Classical Album of 1994, Officium, by Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble.

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Chanticleer : Cristobal de Morales : 00  1 CD : Joseph Jennings : Cristobal de Morales : 8809

Chanticleer : Cristobal de Morales

Review: Cristobal de Morales is usually mentioned along with Francisco Guerrero and Tomas Luis de Victoria as the trio of Spanish composers who typified 16th-century Spanish church polyphony. The Missa Mille regretz is based on the famous chanson of the same name by Josquin des Prez, and proved to be a favorite work of Charles V. This recording conveys the deep spiritual feeling behind these liturgical settings - another bull's-eye for this splendid ensemble.

Songlist: Vidi aquam, Mille regretz, Mille regretz: Kyrie, Mille regretz: Gloria, O Sacrum Convivium, Mille regretz: Credo, Emendemus in melius, Mille regretz: Sanctus, Mille regretz: Agnus Dei, Lamentabatur Jacob

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6911c | 1 CD $15.98 add item to cart Early Music CDs

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Displaying 1-26 of 26 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistItem TitleFormatTrax
Agnus Dei Missa Ave Maria - MoralesCristobal de MoralesLionheartEl Siglo De Oro 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Ecce sic benedicerturCristobal de MoralesGloriae Dei CantoresMasters of the Renaissance 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Emendemus in meliusCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Exaltata est sancta Dei GenitrixCristobal de MoralesNordic VoicesReges TerraeSACDMORE DETAILS 
Gloria Missa Ave Maria - MoralesCristobal de MoralesLionheartEl Siglo De Oro 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Kyrie (Mass Mille Regretz)Cristobal de MoralesKing's SingersThe Golden Age 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Kyrie Missa Ave Maria - MoralesCristobal de MoralesLionheartEl Siglo De Oro 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Lamentabatur JacobCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Magnificat (Octavi toni)Cristobal de MoralesOxford CamerataRenaissance Masterpieces 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Manus tuae Domine Missa Beata Maria Virgine in SabbatoCristobal de MoralesGloriae Dei CantoresEsperanza - A Gift of Spanish Song 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Mille regretzCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Mille regretz: Agnus DeiCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Mille regretz: CredoCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Mille regretz: GloriaCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Mille regretz: KyrieCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Mille regretz: SanctusCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Missus est Gabriel - MoralesCristobal de MoralesLionheartEl Siglo De Oro 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Motetus: Ad tantae NativitatisCristobal de MoralesLa ColombinaChristmas in Spain 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
O Magnum MysteriumCristobal de MoralesSanta Fe Women's EnsembleA Celebration of Song 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
O Sacrum ConviviumCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Pastores DiciteCristobal de MoralesSistine Chapel ChoirConcert at the Vatican 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Peccantem me quotidieCristobal de MoralesLionel Dakers / John Scott (Edited by)Ash Wednesday to Easter for ChoirsSongbookMORE DETAILS 
Regina caeliCristobal de MoralesNordic VoicesReges TerraeSACDMORE DETAILS 
Responsorium: Pastores, dicite, quidnam vidistis? Cristobal de MoralesLa ColombinaChristmas in Spain 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Sanctus Missa Ave Maria - MoralesCristobal de MoralesLionheartEl Siglo De Oro 1 CDMORE DETAILS 
Vidi aquamCristobal de MoralesChanticleerCristobal de Morales 1 CDMORE DETAILS 


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