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Morales, Cristóbal de


The most important Spanish sacred composer after victoria; b. Seville, c. 1500; d. Málaga?, between Sept. 4 and Oct. 7, 1553. The cathedral musicians at Seville during his youth included the brightest lights in the PeninsulaFrancisco de la Torre, Alonso de Alva, Juan de Valera, Francisco de Peñalosa, Pedro de Escobar, and Pedro Fernández de Castilleja. Peñalosa, Escobar, and Juan de Anchieta (14621523) were the first sacred composers in Spain, and their influence on Morales admirably prepared him for a brilliant career as director of music in Ávila Cathedral (appointed 1526), Plasencia Cathedral (1528), and elsewhere. During 1531 he left Plasencia and on Sept. 1, 1535, began a decade as a singer in the papal choir. Although frequently ill in Rome, he published nearly all his major works before 1545, including 16 of his 21 Masses (2 v. Rome 1544). The second volume, dedicated to Paul III, opens with the Mass Tu es vas electionis in the pope's honor. Before Morales's death his Magnificats and motets were being published in Antwerp, Louvain, Nuremberg, and Wittenberg, and purchased by cathedrals as distant as Cuzco, Peru.

Upon returning home he was chapelmaster at the primatial cathedral of Toledo (Sept. 1, 1545Aug. 9, 1547), then at Marchena, near Seville, and last at Málaga (Nov. 27, 1551). He was internationally acclaimed while he lived, and for a century after his death his works served as classic models everywhere throughout the Spanish dominions, including the New World. palestrina based his O sacrum convivium Mass on Morales's motet of the same name and added optional voice parts to six verses from his Magnificats. Victoria founded his Gaudeamus Mass (1576) on Morales's 1538 peace cantata commissioned by Paul III; Francisco Guerrero and Juan Navarro were his personal pupils.

See Also: music, sacred, history of.

Bibliography: f. pedrell, ed., Hispaniae schola musica sacra, 8 v. in 2 (Barcelona 189498), v. 1 contains a Morales anthology. Monumentos de la música española, v. 11 (1952), 8 Masses from Liber primus; v. 13 (1953), 25 motets; v. 16 (1954), 4 Masses from Liber secundus; v. 17 (1956), 16 Magnificats. r. m. stevenson, Spanish Cathedral Music in the Golden Age (Berkeley 1961); Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 9:553563; "Cristóbal de Morales," Journal of the American Musicological Society (Boston 1948) 6 (1953) 342. g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959). a. s. mcfarland, "Cristóbal de Morales and the Imitation of the Past: Music for the Mass in Sixteenth-Century Rome" (Ph.D. diss. University of California at Santa Barbara 1999). k. s. pietschmann, "A Renaissance Composer Writes to His Patrons: Newly Discovered Letters from Cristóbal de Morales to Cosimo I de' Medici and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese," Early Music, 28 (2000) 383400. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Mass. 1996) 606. n. slonimsky, ed. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th ed. New York 1992) 1247. j. a. smith, "The 16 Magnificats of Cristóbal de Morales: Elements of Style and Performance Practice" (Ph.D. diss. University of Texas 1976). r. stevenson, "Cristóbal de Morales," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. s. sadie, v. 12 (New York 1980) 553558.

[r. stevenson]

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