Peñalosa: Masses

Peñalosa: Masses

Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)


Francisco de Peñalosa was born probably in 1470 and almost certainly at Talavera de la Reina, near Madrid. He was undoubtedly fortunate that his career as a composer and singer coincided with the beginning of Spain’s Golden Age: it spanned the time of the conquest of Granada and the final expulsion of the Moors, the discovery of the New World, the unification of the Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon under the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, and the consequent beginnings of Spain’s rapid rise to the position of dominant world power in the sixteenth century. In music, under the pervasive influence of the international ‘Flemish’ style, Spanish composers of real quality and character began to emerge in the new and favourable artistic and social conditions. As a composer, Peñalosa was the most important figure in this, the generation before Morales.

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