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Filipe de Magalhães
c.1571 - 1652
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F. de Magalhães
Filipe de Magalhães (c.1571 - 17/12/1652), a Portuguese composer and chapel master; born in Azeitao, near Evora, Portugaldied in Lisbon, Portugal.
Author:Theo Willemze
Filipe de Magalhães was born in Azeitã, (Portugal), in about 1571. De Magalhães studied music at the famous Cathedral of Évora with among others Manuel Mendes (c. 1547-1605) as one of his teachers. In Évora, de Magalhães was a colleague of the equally distinguished polyphonists like Duarte Lobo (c. 1563-1646) and Manuel Cardoso (1566-1630). De Magalhães was ordained priest in 1585 and he enjoyed the early protection of Dom Teotónio de Bragança, Archbishop and uncle of the later King John IV (1604-1656) of Portugal.
In 1589 de Magalhães was appointed Chapel Master Music teacher of the famous Évora Cathedral where he studied. In 1596 he became a member Chaplain and some later in 1623 Chapel Master of the Royal Chapel in Lisbon. He stayed in his royal duties for more than forty years as member and Chapel Master. Before that he was Master of the Chapel ‘Misericordia. De Magalhães held is position as Master of the Chapel Royal up to 1641. De Magalhães lived in the time the unknown Portuguese School of Polyphony grew up. We already mentioned above some members but we mentioned here too as members of this School Estêvoã de Brito ( c.1570-1641), Estêvão Lopes Morago (c.1570-c.1630), Manuel Correia (1600-1653), Francisco Martins (c. 1620-1680) and King John IV. In Évora de Magalhães was teacher of de Brito, Morago and Correia. They were with other pupils responsible to carry on in Portugal the high quality of the music school of the Cathedral of Évora which they attended. Two factors have encouraged the flourishing of the vocal Polyphony in Portugal. The great influence of the church and the Music School of Évora. Secondly the patronage of the already mentioned Dukes of de Bragança culminating in the restored King, John (João) IV. The last one paid the costs of publishing music, was a musician too and had a very large music library.
As a priest Magalhães dedicated himself to the composition of sacred polyphonic works. Most of his works have been published in music collections such as Missarum liber cum antiphonis dominicalibus in principio, et motetto pro defunctis (1636) and in Cantica Beatissimae Virginis. This missarum liber was dedicated to Philip III King of Spain, too Philips II King of Portugal (1578-1621). De Magalhães also wrote a book of plainsong, Cantus Ecclesiasticus. Seen the catalogue of the famous Music library of King John IV, lot of other works by Magalhães (Masses, Lamentations, motets) has been unfortunately lost during the Lisbon earthquake and fire in 1755. The political union of Portugal and Spain between 1580 and 1640 created a lot of career opportunities for Portuguese composers both in Spain and in the Spanish New World. Two pupils of Magalhães, worked in Spain, Estêvão de Brito as Maestro di Caplilla in Badajoz and Málaga Cathedrals and Manual Correia as Maestro of the Carmelite Convent in Madrid and in Sigüenza and Zaragoza cathedrals. A pupil of Duarte Lobo, Manuel Machado( c1590-1644) worked in the Royal; Spanish Chapel with South-Netherlandish masters. Manuel de Tavares ( 1585-1638) singer to King João IV worked as choirmaster in Baeza, Murcia, Las Plamas and Cuenca Cathedrals. De Magalhães remains perhaps devoted to the prescriptions of the so-called Roman School (Palestrina) due to the principles of the Council of Trent. The text has to be heard. But Magalhães is further in the development with more dissonant, changing of chords and even melody formation in the parts. In his motets, his Missa pro defunctis and his Missa de Beata Virgine Maria, Magalhães gives many beautiful moments having great quality.
Author:Wim Goossens
The so-called "Évora School," was founded at Évora Cathedral by Manuel Mendes. Some students: Estêvão Lopes Morago, Manuel Cardoso, Filipe de Magalhães, Estêvão de Brito, João Laurenço Rebelo, etc.
There was an important school of polyphonic music in Portugal in those times (Évora and Lisbon); unfortunately, many unpublished works disappeared in the earthquake of Lisbon on 1 November 1755.
Author:Arlindo Correia
Officium defunctorum
Period:Late Renaissance
Composed in:1614
Musical form:officium
Text/libretto:daily prayers, psalms, hymns, lectures, etc.
This Officium has been reprinted until 1724.
Author:Theo Willemze
Commissa mea pavesco
Period:Late Renaissance
Composed in:1631
Musical form:motet à 6 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from de Officium Defunctorum
Label(s):CDH 55138
Naxos 8.553310
The Commissa mea pavesco is as a plainchant the Versicle from the Respond Domine, quando veneris from the de Officium Defunctorum Ad Matutinum, Office Matins of the Dead. This motet is composed by Filipe de Magalhães for six voices (SSAATB). The Domine quando veneris is an old Responsorium, Respond which is still published in the old Liber Usualis page 1797 and is sung after Lectio III in the third Nocturn. Filipe de Magalhães uses in this case the text of the Versicle belonging to this Respond.
This text is set by more Iberian composers as a funeral motet. We mention Estevão López Morago (c.1575-c.1630) and Duarte Lobo (c.1565 -1646).
Filipe de Magalhães has written this Versicle motet out of the Office of the Dead, Commissa mea in a modest very moving polyphonic imitative style in using accidentals, flats and sharps.
Altus 1 starts followed by Superius 1, Superius 2, Altus 2, Tenor and Basus.
The wording “pavesco” is in all parts accentuated – word-painting – with ascending and descending eighth notes. From bar 39 the text “Noli me condemnare” is set up in each part with a little second with a broad imitative style ending up in A-major. This motet in total consists out of 61 bars. In general this motet has to be considered as a masterpiece by Filipe de Magalhães. This motet Commissa mea pavesco by Magalhaes first appeared in Missarum liber dedicated to Phillip II of Portugal, Lisbon 1631.
Author:Wim Goossens
Commissa mea pavesco, et ante te erubesco. Dum veneris judicare, noli me condemnare.

I dread my judgement and I am ashamed before Thee. When Thou shall come to judgement do not condemn me.

Contributor:Wim Goossens
Missa pro defunctis
Period:Late Renaissance
Composed in:1636
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s):Globe GLO 5108
This requiem contains:
1. Intro: Requiem Aeternam
2. Kyrie Eleison
3. Graduale: Requiem Aeternam
4. Tractus: Absolve Domine
5. Plainchant
6. Offertorio: Domine Jesu Christe
7. Sanctus-Benedictus
8. Agnus DeiCommunio: Lux Aeterna
Source: Missarum Liber, Lisboa 1636
Filipe de Magelhães sets this Missa pro defunctis for six voices (SAATBB) and is originally set in a low texture generally in F-major.
The Introitus, Requiem aeternam starts as usual by Tenor with the prescribed plainchant incipit “Requiem aeternam.” After that develops a colourful but modest polyphonic imitation in this first movement. The Superior quotes as a cantus firmus in long notes the belonging plainchant. The sound is due to the six parts sonorous and imposing. Remarkable is the subtle minor third (d-B) at the beginning of Bassus I and Bassus II (in Ms 2-3 and 5-6). Sometimes the composer brings three parts together to underline the text. See for instance Ms 25-26 Altus I, Altus II and Bassus II in “et lux perpetua” especially in “et lux per-,” and more in Ms 56 “Jerusalem” and Ms 62 “orationem meam” with all parts. It seems a matter of word-painting too. The plainchant “te decet hymnus Deus in Sion” is sung by Tenor, followed together (Ms 47) by the four upper parts (SAAT), after two and three measures followed by Bassus I and Bassus II. Due to Gregorian practise the Requiem aeternam will be repeated up to “luceat eis”. Of course de Magelhães uses, dissonants, chords, flats and sharps in this movement. This movement consists out of 74 measures.
The threefold Kyrie, Christe, Kyrie has an internal tranquillity. Sometimes Magelhães quotes in Superius little elements out of the plainchant Kyrie. In the last movement Kyrie Magelhães uses in all parts some sharps. We feel here a deep religious intensity of feeling masterly set in notes and chords. We must be aware that this music is written in a time the principles of the Council of Trent was settled in the presentation of the music in the Catholic Services. We do not and cannot compare this music with the Renaissance Polyphony which has to be known of the South-Netherlandish School/Generation. But seen seven masses by Magelhães in the same Liber Missarum there is an evolution from a lively polyphonic style in Missa de B. Virgine Maria to a more introvert slightly homophonic and sober style in the Missa O Soberana Luz. Verbal expressiveness, thematic seriousness, clarity and balance in sacred music are at the beginning of the 17th century the new elements of musical aesthetics but in all cases of this Portuguese School of an unpresented beauty. This movement consists out of 81 measures.
Before the reforms of the Council of Trent (1543-1563) there were diverse alternative texts for the Proper’s of the Mass of the Dead in use which differs per region. Nowadays and after the Council of Trente the ‘Requiem aeternam’ is in use (Liber Usualis edition 1936, p. 1808). The Gradual ‘Requiem Aeternam’ is set by Magalhães for six voices (SAATBB) and starts with the belonging plainchant in Tenor. Magalhães quotes from the beginning as a cantus firmus in long notes the belonging plainchant in the Superius. The other parts wave a round. The Verse ‘In memoria’ is set for four voices (SATB) and Magalhães prescribes C not ₵ as time signature. Altus II and Bassus II taceat in this movement. This part as from Ms 50 has a more imitative contemplated style. Tenor starts followed by Altus I, Superius and Bassus I. Sometimes Magalhães uses short paired imitation. For instance Ms 50-53 Tenor with Superius Ms 53-56, more Ms 58-62 Altus with Bassus Ms 62-65. As from Ms 70. Magalhães uses word-painting at ‘justus/justify’ with descending and ascending quarter notes in three parts ATB. The phrase ‘non timebit’, will be paired repeated in Tenor/ Superius and in Altus/ Bassus – but a fifth lower - as from Ms 92 in all parts in an imitative way.
Tractus and Dies Irae.
There is no imitative polyphonic setting by Magelhães found for the Tractus. Instead of that movement we hear on a Cd the belonging plainchant Absolve Domine (Liber Usualis edition 1936, p. 1809). The sequence Dies irae is omitted which is normal in the Iberian peninsula, but since the Council of Trent again in practice in the Office of the Dead, but not set by Magalhães.
The offertorium Domine Jesu Christe starts with the normal plainchant by Tenor. Followed in flowing imitative style by Superius, Altus I, Tenor I, Altus II, Bassus II and Bassus I. This movement is set in G-Dorian sometimes quoting the plainchant. The Quam olim Abrahae Ms 92 starts with the four highest parts, with minor quoting of the plainchant in the Superius, followed by the other voices. Chords and melody formation is the same with some sharps and flats. The ‘Hostias’ has a four-part setting SATB, with minor quoting of the plainchant in the Superius. Magalhães uses the same texture in chords but with more use of flats and sharps but with much more modestly style. Except the Altus (d) all parts ends in Ms 170 unisono with a (g). Due to Gregorian practise the Quam olim Abrahae will be repeated. This movement consists out of 170 measures and is written in G-Dorian.
The Sanctus starts with a very short plainchant-incipit out of the Office of the Dead by Tenor. Superius, Altus I, Tenor and Bassus I follow in an imitative polyphonic way, after three measures followed by Altus II and Bassus II. This movement Sanctus is set in another mode A-Aeolian. Magelhães uses lots of sharps. The first part of this movement consists out of 34 measures. Magelhães paints a lot of imposing chords with a fine dissonant at Ms 23-24. The Hosanna is short but powerful. The Benedictus is set in another mode G-Mixolydian. The Tenor starts with a short plainchant “Benedictus” out of the Office of the Dead. SAABI start followed by Tenor and Bassus II. The second Hosanna has another mode and this Benedictus consists out of 22 measures. This Sanctus movement is set in a modest polyphonically way with a beautifully emanation. In all measures Magelhães is quite capable of writing short expressive phrases!
Agnus Dei.
All the three Agnus Dei start with a short plainchant-incipit “Agnus Dei” out of the Office of the Dead. In the first movement Magelhães sets al lot of short expressive phrases with some lively quarter notes in Altus II, in Bassus I and Bassus II. The first ‘dona eis’ (Ms 6- 11) is a fine model of changing rhythm and expressiveness. This movement consists out of 15 measures and is set in E-Phrygian. The second Agnus Dei Magelhães starts more introvert with a little choir SA(II)T followed by Altus I and Bassus I and II with a finer dissonant in Ms 13. Magelhães sets more sharps in this movements ending in E-Phrygian and consists out of 16 measures. In the third Agnus Dei after the plainchant all parts starting with an a-minor chord, followed with an fine dissonant in Ms 4. In Ms 10-17 Magelhães quotes the plainchant out of the Office of the Dead with one striking exception on the last note. De most important note in this movement is the descending e by Bassus I in Ms 22. With beautiful expressive chord-changes Magelhães ends this movement in a stilled G-Mixolydian and consists out of 25 measures.
Lux Aeterna. The last movement of this splendid Missa pro defunctis is the communio “Lux Aeterna”. All parts except the Bassus start with an ascending minor third on “luceat”. In four parts as from Ms 4 Magelhães sets a combination of ascending quarter notes in Altus I, Tenor and Bassus I and Bassus II. Perhaps a sign of hope in word-painting. As from Ms 18-31 Superius quotes nearly all the plainchant in “Cum sanctis tuis ……. est” with a stilled end. The last quotation by Tenor of the plainchant starts with the normal “Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine etc…… eis.” As from “et lux perpetua luceat eis’ (Fol. 138 Ms 33) Magelhães do not quote the normal plainchant as printed in the Liber Usualis (edition 1936 p. 1815). As from “Cum sanctis” Ms 38 Superius quotes again nearly all the belonging plainchant. Magelhães sets four important sharps in the last part of this movement ending in G-Mixolydian and consisting out of 49 measures. In general.
Often Magalhães quotes often in long notes the plainchant in one of the parts throughout the whole Missa pro defunctis. The other five parts wave a lively tapestry of imitations, with dissonant, sharps, flats, chords and chords changes in the style but more further and with more elaborated of the stile antico/prima prattica of the predecessors like Palestrina.
This Missa pro Defunctis is edited in Missarum Liber cum antiphonis Dominicalibus et motetto pro defunctis, Lisboa MDCXXXVI fol. 121-195. Lourenço Craesbeeck and in Missarum liber cum antiphonis dominicalibus in principio et motetto pro defunctis in fine MDCXXXI [Lisboa, Lourenço Craesbeeck] In RISM we found an indication this Mass could be edited in 1631. But we have no further confirmation.
Author:Wim Goossens