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López Capillas, Francisco (c. 1615–c. 1673)

López Capillas, Francisco (c. 1615–c. 1673)

Francisco López Capillas (b. ca. 1615; d. ca. 18 January 1673), Mexican composer and organist. López Capillas may have been born in Andalusia and was probably a pupil of Juan de Riscos, the maestro de capilla of Jaén. Ordained a priest, he was named organist and bassoonist for the Puebla cathedral in December 1641. In 1645 he became first organist and singer. In May 1648 he went to Mexico City, where he was hired by the cathedral organist Fabián Ximeno, who had heard López Capillas on a visit to the Puebla cathedral and been impressed with his talent. He presented a volume of his choir compositions to the Mexico cathedral in April 1654, and on 21 May he was appointed maestro de capilla and organist of the cathedral. He was supervisor of the musical services and presented the cathedral with several excellently illuminated choirbooks. López's compositions are considered among the best written in New Spain; his eight Masses, eight Magnificats, and numerous other religious works are composed with extraordinary artfulness. His use of the polyphony, canon, and difficult mensural practices were remarkably competent. The arrival in Madrid of some of his choirbooks generated a court decree (1672) to bestow him a full prebend, but he died in Mexico City before the order became effective.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Robert Stevenson, "Francisco López Capillas," in Heterofonía 6 (1973), and Renaissance and Baroque Musical Sources in the Americas (1970); New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 11 (1980).

                                        Susana Salgado

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