Morales: Missa Queramus cum pastoribus & other sacred music

Morales: Missa Queramus cum pastoribus & other sacred music

Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)


Born in Seville around 1500, Cristóbal de Morales spent the greater part of his life in the service of Spanish cathedrals, up to his death in 1553. Those are the biographical facts. Judged by the sound of his music, however, Morales is far less easy to identify as a Spaniard than is his most famous sixteenth-century compatriot, Tomás Luis de Victoria. A long period spent abroad may have modified the accent of Morales’s musical voice; between 1535 and 1545 he worked largely in Rome as a singer in the papal choir. But even his earliest compositions, written in Avila and Plasencia, and his late works, dating from the years in Toledo and Málaga, have a cosmopolitan quality about them. If the music of Victoria sounds to us quintessentially Spanish by virtue of its intensity and pathos, then Morales appears instead a master craftsman whose works transcend nationality, and whose musical interests, like his reputation, extended far beyond his native land.

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