Juan Esquivel: A Master of Sacred Music during the Spanish Golden Age

Juan Esquivel: A Master of Sacred Music during the Spanish Golden Age

Clive Walkley
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 286
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt14brrbk
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  • Book Info
    Juan Esquivel: A Master of Sacred Music during the Spanish Golden Age
    Book Description:

    Juan Esquivel was a cathedral choirmaster and composer, active in Spain during the period c.1580-c .1623 in which all aspects of the arts flourished, and one of the few peninsular composers of his generation to see his works published. He is known to have produced three large volumes of sacred polyphony - masses, motets, hymns, psalms, magnificats, and Marian antiphons - under the titles Liber primus missarum, Motecta festorum((both published 1608) and Tomus secondus, psalmorum, hymnorum... et missarum (published 1613); they reveal him to be a highly skilled craftsman. This first full-length study of his life and works presents a critical assessment of the man and his music, setting him within the social and religious context of the so-called Counter-Reformation. Beginning by outlining the facts of his life, the book goes on to offer an analysis and assessment of his output. Clive Walkley was until his retirement a lecturer in music and music education at Lancaster University.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-905-3
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. List of Musical Examples
    (pp. viii-x)
  6. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xv)
  8. SIGLA FOR THE POLYPHONIC MANUSCRIPTS
    (pp. xvi-xvi)
  9. 1 RELIGIOUS LIFE AND CATHEDRAL MUSIC IN SPAIN IN THE TIME OF THE COUNTER-REFORMATION
    (pp. 1-39)

    By the time Esquivel announced his publications to the world in 1608, the roots of the Counter-Reformation had been firmly established for over a century. A Spain united by Ferdinand and Isabella had championed the cause of a militant Catholicism which, largely through Spain’s isolation from the rest of Europe and the establishing of the Inquisition in 1478, set itself on a collision course with the Protestant challenge which emerged during the course of the early sixteenth century. Charles V and his son, Philip II, sought to build on the achievements of their predecessors, further consolidating the monarchy’s power base...

  10. 2 BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS
    (pp. 41-52)

    The known facts of Esquivel’s life are few: we do not even know the date of his birth. The amount of contemporary documentary evidence available to us is slender and sometimes conflicting, and has led to much speculation on the part of later scholars. In an attempt to unravel the facts of Esquivel’s life we shall first examine the documentary evidence that does remain and then study the contributions of recent scholars who have attempted to shed further light on the composer’s life and work.

    During the sixteenth century, detailed records were kept of cathedral chapter meetings. The minutiae of...

  11. 3 SOURCE MATERIALS
    (pp. 53-73)

    As we have already seen, our knowledge of Esquivel the composer comes to us through three publications only. These are theLiber primus missarum (1608), Motecta festorum (1608)andTomus secundus, psalmorum, hymnorum . . . et missarum(1613). In addition to the missing volume of 1623, he may well have written other works; given the importance of Corpus Christi processions in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Spain, it would be surprising if he had not produced works for these ceremonies. The capitular acts of Oviedo mention records of payment to Esquivel for the composition ofvillancicosand music for theautos de...

  12. 4 THE MASSES OF 1608
    (pp. 74-152)

    Esquivel opens his first book of masses with a polyphonic setting of the antiphonAsperges me. Liturgically, this antiphon precedes the Kyrie of the Ordinary; by printing a polyphonic setting of this item at the head of his volume the composer is emphasising the completeness of his publication. Perhaps he had seen a copy of Morales’s volume of masses published by Moderne at Lyons in 1551, or Nicolas du Chemin’s miscellaneous collectionMissarum musicalium(Paris, 1568), both of which open with a polyphonic setting of the same antiphon.¹

    The setting is a paraphrase of the ancient mixolydian chant melody, itself...

  13. 5 THE MOTETS OF 1608
    (pp. 153-207)

    The Motet was the most popular sacred genre of the sixteenth century.¹ It was a medium for the expression of devotion, both private and public: it could be heard, and interpreted by one individual in the privacy of his own private apartments or chapel, or it could find its place in a wider religious community, to be used as a vehicle for corporate devotion in a liturgical context. This may be what Guerrero had in mind when, in dedicating hisSacrae cantionesof 1555 to the duke of Arcos, he claims that his motets (or ‘certain songs’ as he calls...

  14. 6 THE TOMUS SECUNDUS OF 1613
    (pp. 208-245)

    Having provided his church with two collections of music for the mass, it seems logical that Esquivel should now turn his attention to music for the Office. The first five sections of theTomus secundus, then, are given over entirely to polyphonic settings of the three liturgical items – psalms, hymns and Magnificats – which form the choral basis of the service of Vespers.

    Peninsular composers of the first half of the sixteenth century, men such as Francisco de Peñalosa, Juan Escribano, Juan de Anchieta, Bartolomé Escobedo and also Morales, were not drawn to the composition of psalm settings. The second half...

  15. 7 CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 246-253)

    This study has attempted to outline the facts of Esquivel’s life as far as they can be ascertained, and has examined in some depth the characteristics of the master’s compositional technique as demonstrated in his three known publications. What conclusions can be drawn concerning his place in the history of Spanish Church music and his standing as a composer within that tradition?

    If quantity of works alone were to be regarded as a measure of a composer’s skill, then Esquivel would score highly: eleven mass ordinaries, two Requiem masses, seventy-two motets, eight psalms, thirty hymns, sixteen Magnificat settings, four Marian...

  16. APPENDIX: MODERN EDITIONS OF MUSIC BY ESQUIVEL
    (pp. 254-254)
  17. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 255-264)
  18. INDEX
    (pp. 265-270)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 271-271)