An overview of Iberian keyboard music ca 1600-1830
Part II: the 17th Century Composers of Portugal.
Part 1 of this overview of the Iberian keyboard repertoire from ca. 1600-1850 presented, in review form, information about almost all of the Spanish composers of the 17th century whose work has been published in a modern edition devoted either to themselves or to a small number of specific composers. In addition to Juan Baptista Cabanilles whose ca.200 large-scale works merit an article to himself, I omitted details of those composers such as the Catalans Gabriel Menalt and Francisco Espelt whose work has been published in a modern edition and which has been reviewed in previous issues of The Organ. Other Spanish composers straddling the 17th and 18th centuries such as Miguel López as well as the large amount of pieces from the 17th century that have been preserved anonymously in the several main MSS compilations will be discussed in part 3 of this overview of the Iberian repertoire. Given the large amount of the music from Iberia that has been made available in modern editions, it is a great pity that it remains so little known and played in the UK. I am extremely grateful to Gerhard Doderer and Miguel Bernal Ripoll for their enthusiasm for this project.
Part 2 below deals with Portuguese composers of the 17th century, the great majority of whom, with the exception of Manuel Rodrigues Coelho, one of the leading European composers of the early 17th century, are known only through the two main MS anthologies compiled in Portugal during the period up to ca. 1695, and of these composers very few are represented by more than one work. As with the contemporary Spanish MSS, the majority of pieces carry no authorial attribution. The compositions preserved in Portugal can be divided into sets of Versos on the eight Tones, of which there are rather more than in the earlier Spanish sources, intended for use in the Liturgy, with some based on specific chants for the Magnificat, Kyrie, or Ave Maris Stella, and predominantly non-liturgical pieces generally entitled Obra, Tento or Phantazia in various spellings, the great majority of which are imitative, with a much smaller number being freer and more toccata-like. A small number are entitled Meio Registo- ie they were conceived for a divided keyboard with one or two voices carrying the solo line(s). The subjects of the imitative pieces are usually in long note values and vary in length, with the answer frequently occurring before the initial statement of the subject is complete. Only a few have subjects mainly in crotchets and smaller note values There are also several Batalhas, a few more than have survived in the earlier Spanish sources, although this figure is increased by the examples found in the slightly later Martín y Coll MSS. Noticeably absent are pieces entitled Falsas although a few pieces display similar stylistic traits.
Coelho's published volume, and all of the MSS are, apart from MS 1577 Porto, written in score ie each voice has its own stave. MS1577 is the only example written in Spanish number notation and also includes information on fingering; since its provenance is almost certainly Spanish this MS will be discussed in greater detail in part 3. None of the other Portuguese sources includes information on fingering, and the only comment about rhythm is found in Coelho‘s Advertencias Particulares where, in point three, he writes that ‘crotchets, quavers and semiquavers must be played equally’. Unlike the highly specific comments found in the introduction by Correa de Arauxo to his Facultad Orgánica published 6 years later, no comment is made here about an unequal treatment of triplets. Regarding ornaments, In the second point of the Advertencias particulares pera se tangerem estas obras com perfeição Coelho writes that both with the left hand and right hand one must play quebros wherever possible but gives no information about the shape of this ornament. There are very few tempo indications. In Porto MS 1607 the untitled piece on f. 126 is headed Adagio. In Braga MS 964 an anonymous Fantazia on f. 102 includes q va m devaga (ie which goes very slowly) in its title. Some of the Italian pieces in this manuscript not surprisingly include Italian tempo indications.
The two leading composers in Portugal during the 17th century, to judge from the quantity of works preserved in both printed and MSS sources, were Manuel Rodrigues Coelho and Pedro de Araújo. Coelho published a large volume in Lisbon in 1620 (the only collection of keyboard music published in Portugal between the Uma obra e Arte para Tanger by de Baena ca. 1540 and the Dodeci Sonata, Variazioni, Minuetti by Baptista in ca.1770), which contained 24 Tentos, imitative pieces, three on each of the eight Tones, four highly embellished settings of the song Susana and a series of pieces on each Tone specifically for use in the Liturgy. Pedro de Araújo, who worked in Braga in the far north of Portugal, holding posts at the cathedral until 1665 and at San Salvador in Famalição until 1704, unfortunately published nothing, and his dozen or so attributed surviving works are to be found only in two main sources, with several pieces in each, although the quality and style of several other pieces preserved anonymously point to his authorship; the high quality of his works and their demanding technical requirements point to an extremely accomplished composer, and it is great pity that the surviving pieces are probably just a fraction of his output. A selection of nine pieces has been edited by Gerhard Doderer or Willy Müller Verlag. Several other composers are known by just one or two works preserved in one of the two main MSS sources preserved in Portugal, MS964 in Braga, and MS1607 in Porto, both of which will be discussed later in this article as will a further MS in Porto, 1576, which contains a large number of what seem to be primarily small-scale exercises rather than longer compositions. MS 1577 at Porto contains a large number of pieces by composers who are almost certainly Spanish and will therefore be considered in greater detail in part 3 of this overview. It is interesting that no MSS of local composers from this period seem to have survived in Lisbon, possibly through the devastation of the earthquake in 1755 which destroyed large parts of the city and many unique treasures (a handwritten appendix to the copy of Correa‘s Facultad Orgánica preserved at the Palacio, Ajuda, contains eight pieces by Spanish composers and will be discussed in part 3 of this series), or anywhere in the south of the country.
Manuel Rodrigues Coelho: Flores de musica pero o instrumento de tecla & harpa
After the work by Gonçalo Baena Uma obra e Arte para Tanger printed in Lisbon c.1540, which is the earliest surviving book of keyboard music from the Peninsular, (Modern edition reviewed in The Organ), the only surviving printed source of Portuguese keyboard music prior to the set of Dodeci Sonata, Variazioni, Minuetti by Francisco Xavier Baptista of c.1770 is the Flores de Musica by Manuel Rodrigues Coelho, who was organist at Elvas cathedral, Lisbon cathedral and finally 1604-22 organist to the Chapel Royal in Lisbon. Published in Lisbon in 1620, this extensive print of 233 folios contains 24 mainly lengthy and well developed Tentos, three on each of the eight Tones, which vary in length from 159 bars (no. 19) to 307 bars (no. 21), four settings of Susana and several sets of Versos, some of which have independent vocal parts. It is in score, ie each voice has its own five-line stave with C clefs for the three upper voices and the F clef for the bass.
The new edition by Santiago Kastner is published in two volumes, of which the first contains the 24 Tentos and the four Susanas. All of the Tentos are in four voices and imitative, some monothematic, but most with multiple subjects as well as many cases of sequential figuration based on short motifs, sometimes derived from part of the subject; apart from no. 19 in which the smallest notevalue is a quaver, each piece contains semiquavers. The opening subject is usually in long notes, with a few exceptions including the third Tento on the first Tone which opens with a quaver scale. The figuration includes written-out inequality (dotted quaver followed by semiquaver as in the subject of no. 1, bar 3 and in no. 9, bars 20-135), and an extensive use of quaver triplets (which appear either as equal as in no. 3 bars 16-70, or as dotted as in no. 13, bars 141-4) - a favourite figure is the triplet rhythm of crotchet followed by quaver, e.g. no. 6, bars 86-145; a comparison with the Tento on the 8th Tone as preserved in Braga MS 964 and included in the modern edition of that MS reveals that the writer of the manuscript has changed this rhythm into the 3+3+2 more commonly found in Spain, as well as drastically shortening the piece. The possibility that this was a general interpretation of Coelho‘s figure should be treated with caution, given his comments that quavers should be played equally. The rhythmic subdivision of the minim in triple time into three producing a fast nine notes in the bar which was popular with Aguilera, Correa and Bruna features in Coelho only in no. 16 in bar 179. The notation in bars 93 and 98 as given in the modern edition is incorrect and the player will have to make adjustments, and the bass sextuplet in the third beat of bar 259 will likewise require consideration. Many passages can be considered as written-out divisions e.g. no. 2 with its scale passages and figure of two quavers followed by a descending four semiquavers to cover a minim.
Fifteen of the Tentos contain a triple time section, only four of which conclude with a return to common time (7, 12, 16 & 20). In the triple time sections, all of which are transcribed in the modern edition as 3/2, five Tentos contain minims and crotchets, another nine include quavers, and in only one do semiquavers appear (no. 7, bars 128 and 130). None of the pieces are entitled meio registo ie call for divided registers, although these were known in Portugal at the time. Coelho uses with some frequency a figure that first appeared with Antonio Carreira. The four pieces entitled Susana grosada a 4 sobre a de 5 encompass 118 bars and are reductions to 4 parts of the original 5-part motet by Orlando di Lassus and are similar to the Tentos in their figuration and rhythmic variety including both equal and dotted note quaver triplets. The melody appears in the treble, sometimes in long notes, but also veiled in extended semiquaver passages. The modulatory figures introduced by Peraza and Aguilera which became so popular with the North Eastern Spanish composers are conspicuously absent from these pieces, the figuration being much closer to Anglo-Dutch writing. It is possible that Coelho may have had access to English keyboard music through Francis Tregian the Elder (father of the supposed compiler of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book) who retired to Lisbon and is buried in São Roque. Also absent are pieces subtitled Falsas although no. 19 approaches this style. Some fifteen Tentos, some at least in abbreviated versions, the third Susana, a greatly shortened version of the fourth Susana and some twenty-five sets of Versos are to be found in MS964, Braga. The harmonic language does not extend beyond augmented chords, although there are many passages in which notes in rapid scale passages are inflected, producing momentary false relations against long held chords. Francisco Correa's frequently sued device of the simultaneous sounding of a note against its chromatically inflection is absent; it is hard to believe that the potential example in bar 31 in the third Tento on the fourth Tone was intended. Dirksen and Vogal have identified the subject on the third Tento on the seventh Tone as being used by Sweelinck in his Fantasia à 4, but pointing out that it is unlikely that the two composers were aware of each other‘s work. There is a further edition of the Tentos by A Bares for Musedita (printed under licence by Cornetto Verlag) in four volumes, and the Susanas have been edited by Santiago Kastner for Schott.
The second volume of the modern edition contains the wide range of compositions based on Liturgical subjects, some 26 sets in all here numbered 29-54, the great majority comprising several Versos. The volume opens with four extended (from 114-135 bars) four-part settings of the Pange Lingua, in the first setting the chant appears in the treble in minims, in the second to the fourth verses it is in the alto, tenor and bass respectively in semibreves. Against the chant there is flowing counterpoint in a wide rhythmic variety including even, long-short (this pattern also appears in a few of the Tentos) and dotted quaver triplets. The notation in the bass of bars 102-3 of the first setting will need to be considered carefully. It is to be noted that, unlike his Spanish predecessors and contemporaries, who used the triple-time setting of the chant, Coelho uses the C time setting and whereas Cabezón in particular kept the unornamented chant in the tenor, Coelho uses it in each voice in descending order. Four shorter settings (25 50bars) of the Ave Maris Stella follow, the first one carrying the chant in the treble in mimims against crotchets and quavers, in the second to the fourth verses the chant is in the alto, tenor and bass respectively in semibreves. There are brief appearances of semiquaver scalar runs but the majority of the pieces move serenely in quavers and crotchets. A further five longer Versos (50 -125 bars) on the Ave Maris Stella follow, one on each line of the Gregorian melody but with the first line being split into two, these melodic lines being incorporated into rich contrapuntal workings. There are a few semiquaver scalar runs but the majority of the pieces are again in quavers and crotchets, the fifth Verse concluding in triple time. The next group of pieces (nos. 32-39) are sets of Versos on the eight Tones for the Magnificat, each Verse having an additional treble part which is marked “esta voz não se tange, as quarto abaixo se tangem” ie this voice is not to be played, only the four voices below. The words to be sung are given beneath the voice part. The Only the First and Second Tones have four Versos (vv 2, 4, 6 and 8 of the Canticle), the Third Tone has three Versos, (vv 10-12), the Fourth and Sixth Tones have just two Versos (2 and 4), the Fifth and the Eighth Tones have three (vv 2, 4 and 6), and for the Seventh Tone just one verse was composed, this being the opening of the Nunc Dimittis). The part for the voice is mainly in minims and semibreves, with exceptional use of semiquavers in the second verso of the First Tone and quavers in the second Verso of the Fifth Tone. The voices which are played progress only rarely beyond quavers, with equal quaver triplets passing between the voices in the second verso of the First Tone. Sequential imitative writing using short motifs occurs quite frequently. Versos average around 30 bars and are in four parts, a few are imitative (the fourth Verso on the Eighth Tone opens with a canzona-like rhythm of repeated notes), most are chordally homophonic; augmented sixths occur, but otherwise there are few dissonances.
The following group of pieces, nos. 40- 47 in the modern edition, comprises sets of Versos on each of the eight Tones, to be played at the Benedictus and Magnificat, with, unusually, six Versos on the First Tone with the chant appearing in the treble, treble, alto, alto, tenor and bass, and four on each of the remaining Tones with the chant appearing in treble, alto, tenor and bass respectively. They range from 24 bars (47D) up to 49 bars (41B) and each is in four voices, the three voices containing imitative writing which, where the chant is in the two inner parts, weaves neatly around it, mainly proceding in quavers and crotchets, with just a few cases of semiquaver runs as in the second and third Versos on the Third Tone, the third Verso of the First Tone contains runs in thirds in semiquavers, to be played by the two hands.
The final group of pieces, nos. 48-54, are settings of the Kyrie, with two settings for the first Tone, one transposed down to C minor (a very rare, if not unique use of this key) at this time, which raises interesting questions about tuning), one on the fourth Tone, two on the Sixth with one being in Bb (another rare use of this key at the time in the group of Versos in this key by Bartolomé de Olague in MS1577 it is known as Segundillo), one on the eighth Tone and one on the third Tone. For each Tone five versos are set. Each is in four voices and is imitative. All of the Versos in the three groups are in C time throughout. There are very few ornamented cadences written out, but as with the Tentos the performer is expected to add a liberal amount of embellishments. Some 25 sets of Versos are also included in MS964, Braga, the only set omitted being the Kyries on the Sixth Tone por F-fa-Ut.
The edition is clearly printed, with an extensive introduction in both English and Portuguese, and there are several facsimiles, including the dedications, prologue and preface.
Of the few manuscript sources preserved in Portugal, two large compilations, one in Braga and one in Oporto, contain much duplication, leaving us to conjecture as to whether the respective scribes worked from a common source or sources; the outstanding quality of several of the extended works leaves us regretting that further such compilations have not come to light.
The one compilation in the Biblioteca Pública, Braga, has been partially edited in a modern edition, as discussed immediately below.
Obras selectas para órgão MS964 da Biblioteca Pública de Braga,
MS 964 contains c.210 pieces on 259 folios, with approximately 16 folios missing, including the largest amount of Portuguese organ music in one source, although there is considerable duplication with Porto MS 1607, about 35 pieces in all, and a large number of pieces taken from Coelho‘s Flores de Musica including 25 sets of Versos and 15 Tentos on folios 160-208v (the sets which were published with an additional vocal line have this line omitted in this MS). On fols 216-230 and 253-259 there are about 50 Italian pieces including the Partite sopra La Aria della Folia by Bernardo Pasquini.
There are some 23 large-scale works which are anonymous. Some 75 pieces have been omitted from this modern selection, amongst them on fols 147-161 fifteen sets of short pieces que se cantarem ao orgão ou arpa (‘to be sung to organ or harp’), and on fol. 224 we read that ‘continuam os passos estrangeiros para orgão ou harpa que vieram da Roma’ (‘here continue the foreign pieces for organ or harp which came from Rome’). Sadly lack of space also precluded the inclusion of four larger scale pieces. Pieces by Spanish composers also feature in the manuscript. There are three Medio Registros by Pedro de San Lorenzo, (nos. 10-12 in the modern edition), on folio 114 Tiento V from Correa‘s Facultad Orgánica, and a piece which could well be by Bruna: the Tento de 8 Tom de Meio registo da mão esquerda on f. 130 has a marked similarity to Bruna’s Obra de 8 Tono de tiple in El Escorial MS L P 30 at fols 47v-49v, with the difference that Bruna treats the solo in the treble, whilst the piece in MS 964 transfers it to the bass and has a much longer section in triple time it was rare but not unknown for composers to work a theme for both bass and treble, e.g. Sebastián Durón (see Porto MS 1577). There is another anonymous example on La misa sol la sol in Madrid MS 1357 (pp.125-136). On folios 145 and 162-208, 41 pieces from Coelho’s Flores da Musica have been copied, including differing versions of some Tentos (see the comments on Coelho); also included are 11 pieces assigned to Pedro de Araújo, seven of which are also in Porto MS 1607. The other named composer unique to this source is Luis Coutinho, who left an Obra de 1 Tom. The modern edition contains 74 pieces, arranged by Tones; the order in the MS is quite haphazard. Of these 74, eight are by Coelho and are versions of pieces published in his Flores de Musica, and six are also included in the modern edition of MS1607, Oporto, see below, leaving 60 pieces unique to MS964, of which 31 are sets of Versos or Entradas, 27 are entitled Obra, Tento, Fantasia or Passo, and two are Batalhas.
Of the sets of Versos etc, eight are entitled Entradas, eight Entradas ou Versos, nine Kyrios and six are Versos. The latter include sets on the first Tone with five Versos, on the third Tone with five, on the fourth Tone with six, on the sixth Tone with five, on the eighth Tone with five and on the eighth Tone “a compasso largo” ie in cut C and barred with two semibreves to the bar, with six. All of the pieces are imitative in four voices and only rarely is quaver movement exceeded, with just a few toccata-like flourishes in one voice. The Kyrios include two sets on the first Tone, the first set (entitled Chírios) having four Versos, the first based on the opening three notes of the Salve Regina, the second set having seven of which the final Verso extends to 47 bars. The set on the second Tone has six Versos, on third Tone there are four, on the fourth Tone only three, on the fifth Tone five, on the sixth Tone five, of which only the first opens imitatively; in each Verso the chant appears. The seventh Tone has five Versos and the eighth Tone has four. All are imitative and most extend to some 30 bars with a few being longer.
The sets entitled simply Entradas are short chordal pieces of ca. 10-15 bars, frequently not exceeding crotchets; on the first Tone there are nine, on the second Tone there are three, each one losing in D, on the third Tone there are three, on the fourth Tone three, on the fifth Tone four, on the sixth Tone four of which the second and fourth close in G and the third closes in E, on the seventh Tone there are six and on the eighth Tone five of which the first closes in C and the fourth and last (of only three and five bars respectively) close in F. The Entradas ou Versos are similarly chordal pieces, with four on the first Tone (closing in A), five on the second Tone (the first three closing in F, the others in D). five on the third Tone (first three closing n C, the others in A), only two in the fourth Tone both closing in A, four on the fifth Tone (first and third closing in C, the other two in A), three on the sixth Tone alla closing on F, three on the seventh Tone all closing on G and only two on the eighth Tone both closing on G. The great majority of the Entradas are under 15 bars and move in crotchets; they would still be most useful today where short pieces or interludes of some gravity and solemnity are called for.
The imitative pieces include twenty Obras, three Tentos, three Fantasias and one Passo, the latter, no. 16, being 140 bars on the second Tone in 3/2. It moves mainly in minims with crotchet runs. The Fantasia “pello 2 Tone”,no. 17, is similarly in 3/2, with a few bars of quaver runs and of crotchet triplets and extends to 108 bars. The Fantasia on the fifth Tone no. 43 is a short work in C time of 36 bars with some dotted quaver-semiquaver rhythms in the opening bars in which a subject appears in closely worked stretti, before settling into leisurely crotchet movement. The final Fantasia no. 74 is on the eighth Tone and switches between 3/1 and 3/2 giving a restless effect before a coda in C time in its 157 bars. It is chordally homophonic throughout. Tento 21 is on the second Tone and is of 68 bars, its subject opening, in long notes, on A, and descending to D in increasing speed before a a semiquaver scale of an octave, but contains a wide rhythmic variety including quaver triplets before a short triple-time coda, ending with an open chord (ie no third). No. 73, Tentio a 4, is a more sedate work of 117 bars in mainly crotchet movement with quaver figuration. The remaining work entitled Tento is an extensive work of 180 bars “de meyo de dois tiples esquerda” the title actually meaning that it is a piece for divided registers with the solo in the bass beneath not two but three upper parts. There are several extended passages in semiquavers in the solo, 3+3+2 rhythm, and from bar 74-89 and 105-176 the piece moves into 3/2 triple time with some dotted crotchet-quaver passages. A short C time coda brings this exhilarating and demanding piece to a close. A problem is posed from bar 122 when the lowest upper voice moves into the compass of the solo stops; it can indeed be played by the lh, turning the piece into one for two basses from this point onwards, as occurs in pieces by Bruna as mentioned above. Three other pieces for divided keyboard are by Pedro de San Lorenzo, which possibly refers to his being associated with the monastery of El Escorial in Spain. The first one is headed “de registro de mano derecha” which means that the solo voice is in the right hand, with the three lower voices forming the accompaniment. It is rhythmically varied, with plenty of semiquaver melismas in the solo up to bar 30 and quaver triplets appear in bars 34 and 56, marked “devagar” and “mais devagar” which means slowly and more slowly, the speed being picked up in bars 48 (which includes crotchet triplest) and 60 by the marking “apressado”. The piece concludes with a short coda played presumably with both hands on the same registers. The following piece headed “de registro de mano yzquierda” ie with the solo voice in the bass. At 134 bars it is somewhat longer, with the writing mainly in quavers and triplet groups comprising crotchet followed by four quavers in a central section. The final piece by this composer has the lengthy title “de dos bajos al primer principio y un tiple después”, its 80 bars here presented on three staves to clarify the writing, which does call for visual gymnastics, and unfortunately the piece is not playable without a divided keyboard.
The first of the two Batalhas, no.25, is entitled Modo de Batalha com suas tréguas (truces) and opens with some scale flourishes before settling into a pattern of repeated quavers followed by the 3+3+2 grouping although the final there quavers are frequently beamed together. An imitative triple time section in 3/2 follows which includes some sinuous chromatic twists and syncopation of semibreves. The second Batalha, no. 54, is on the sixth Tone and although at 202 bars it is much shorter, it has many similarities with the Batalha Famoza found in Porto 1607 (which at 373 bars tests the listener‘s if not the player’s endurance) with its echo effects, crashing repeated chords, fast scalar runs over chords, and a concluding triple time section here in 3/2 rather the 3/ 4 of the Porto MS. The trumpet calls in bar 37ff are headed Clarins, the only indication for registration found in the Portuguese MSS.
The Obra on the first Tone by Luis Coutinho runs to 204 bars and is in two clearly marked parts of almost equal length, each self-contained, of which the second combines the subject of the first part with a new countersubject. There are some semiquaver scalar runs but the piece progresses mainly in quavers, with considerable appearances of the 3+3+2 grouping. This impressively constructed work leaves us wishing that more examples of Coutinho’s craftsmanship had survived. There are four Obras on the second Tone, no. 18 at 115 bars in C time throughout is attributed to Pedro de Araújo, and opens with the expected subject in long notes, but in bar 2 a short quaver motif enters in the alto, which is present in varied form thoughout. There are few semiquaver runs and the piece progresses mainly in quavers in either bass or treble against long held chords, making this one of the composer‘s least virtuosic yet quietly most effective works. No. 19 at 136 bars in C time throughout is a rather more lively piece with dotted quaver-semiquaver rhythms, far more semiquaver passagework in each voice except for the alto, quaver triplets, sometimes against duple quavers (possibly these were to be played unequally rather than as written). No. 20 at 173 bars opens quietly with the occasional quaver passages but becomes more animated with the introduction of quaver triplets at bar 76 and long semiquaver passages in the bass from bar 102 before the triple-time section in 3/1 in bars 110-117, the 12 crotchets being grouped in threes providing cross-rhythms, the following short section in C time including more quaver triplets, the piece concluding in 3/2 from bar 128 based on a new subject. No. 22 is a short homophonically chordal piece of 56 bars entirely in 3/2 and with crotchet movement in one or more voices from bar five onwards. No.24, here entitled Meio Registo de 2 Tom de dois tiples e dois contrabaixos is found in MS 1607 (no. 36 in modern edition see below) entitled simply Obra.
The two Obras on the third Tone (nos. 32 and 33) are two short pieces, no. 32 comprising 111 bars, moving mainly in quavers with a few semiquaver scalar runs and dotted quaver-semiquaver passages and a few 3+2+3 quaver passages in the opening C time section. The triple-time section combines a rhythmic variamty of the opening subject with a new subject, the dotted rhythm moving in parallel, with a few quaver passages before the three bar coda in C time. No. 33 has only 47 bars and is entirely in C time, mainly in long notes with again a few semiquaver scales. No. 42 is the only Obra on the fifth Tone, and consists of 85 bars in 3/2, chordally homophonic throughout, with an emphasis on the semibreve-minim rhythm including suspensions in parallel in two voices. A few crotchet runs enliven the gentle pace. There are four Obras on the sixth Tone, no. 49 being entitled “para o Levantar o Deus” and is an imitative work of 152 bars with two subjects presented a minim apart at the opening. Mainly in minim movement with some crotchets, bars 72-78 have quaver triplest in the bass beneath minims or semibreves, and there are just a few semiquaver or quaver runs. No. 53 is a homophonically chordal piece of 113 bars with sequential quaver movement based on short motifs, with a triple-time section from bar 25 to 53 based on a new theme, the final C time section having rather more semiquaver movement before it settles down to predominantly quaver motion.
On the seventh Tone the two Obras include nos. 59 and 60, the first piece, attributed to Pedro de Araújo, is entitled “de passo solto” and with 87 bars in 3/2 is similar to no. 42, and approaches the Falsas style quiet closely with sequential patterns of short crotchet motifs and suspensions. No. 60 is a substantial piece “sobre o Seculorum” of 207 bars and is in there sections, the opening C time section containing crotchet triplets in bars 79-93, and an infrequent use of the 3+3+2 quaver rhythm. The movement is mainly quaver, with sequential working of short motifs, with some semiquaver scales. The triple time section is short, bars 123-141, and exploits a new subject in minims and crotchets with quaver runs, before the plainchant re-enters in the treble in the concluding C time section commencing at bar 142, where it is treated imitatively, with quaver triplets and a wider use of semiquavers before this exciting piece concludes. It may well be by Pedro de Araújo. There are three Obras on the eighth Tone, no. 67 being attributed to de Araújo. At 170 bars in C time throughout it contains rather more semiquaver writing and occasional quaver triplets, with much use of sequential quaver figures and, in the final twenty bars, of a short sequential figure which includes semiquaver. From bar 25 onwards the subject is presented in diminution. No. 71 comprises 11 bars of generally quieter movement in quavers enlivened by the occasional semiquaver scalar flourishes including a descending two octaves in the bass just before the close. No. 72, although headed “de 8 Tom” opens and closes with chords of A minor; it lasts only 26 bars of which bar 16 onwards is in triple time mainly in crotchets and minims. The opening section is built on sequential quaver motifs, with some 3+3+2 quavers.
MSS preserved in the Biblioteca Municipal, Oporto.
Three MSS collections of keyboard music from the 17th century are preserved in the Biblioteca Municipal, Oporto, of which the two containing pieces by Portuguese composers available in modern editions (MS1576 and 1607) are described in detail below. The third MS, 1577, although compiled in Portugal, contains music almost certainly by Spanish composers, and is summarized below; the modern editions of some of the composers have been discussed in part 1 of this article.
João de Costa de Lisboa: Tenção
MS 1576, tentatively dated as mid 17th century and known as “Tenção de João de Costa de Lisboa”, contains some 135 pieces written in score, seemingly intended more as a composition manual; named composers include Mestre Reis, presumed to be Gaspar dos Reis, who composed the great majority of pieces and Mateo Romero, known as El Capitán, with one Tenção and André da Costa, who was also a harpist, with one set of Exercícios sobre Canto Chão. The term Tenção is here used in all probability to mean a theme for a musical work. Other pieces are entitled Concerto (many of which are based on various hexachords) many of which are on the Saeculorum in the eight Tones, or Concertado, . The modern edition includes a selection of 34 pieces, of which no. 1 is a selection of Exercícios sobre Canto Chão by João da Costa, no. 2 is a similar set by Frei André (da Costs) and no. 15 is the only piece by Maestro Capitán (ie Mateo Romero), the Tenção La sola de mi querida. The remaining pieces are all by Mestre Reis, presumed to be Gaspar dos Reis. The MS comprises two parts, the first set of pieces clearly consisting of short exercises and fugues, clausulas or cadences and short concertos followed by pieces demonstrating a far more carefully planned counterpoint. Of interest are nos.11-14, four of the twelve Concertados sobre o Canto Cahão de Ave Maris Stella which opens with the diminished fourth B♭-F♯. two of the thirty-seven Concertos entitled a 3 com dous lás are included; based on the hexachord commencing on G which ascends and descends they are subheaded meio registo, although performance on a single manual organ with divided stops would be impossible.
In addition to the mental gymnastics posed by crossed parts, several pieces pose problems in performance through having wide intervals between parts other than between tenor and bass that could be executed on a short-octave keyboard. Most of the pieces are ca.55-60 bars, but a few are much shorter, especially the Exercícios, although no. 22 Concerto a 3 sem Outava, moving mainly in minims and crotchets, runs to 148 bars,; the opening few exercísios, no. 23 Concerto a 3 sem Outava, 26 & 27, Concerto sobre o Saeculorum do Segindo Tom and 28 Concerto sobre o Quarto Tom have some more vigorous quaver passagework . The majority of the pieces in the modern edition are in four voices, with just a few in three, and one in five, and bear comparison with the shorter Versos by de Cabezón; quite clearly they would have been ornamented in practice. Several pieces show a careful and considered application to contrapuntal writing and could still fulfill a requirement for short pieces in a specific key within the service. The introduction includes a list of all the pieces, a description of the MS and several pages of facsimiles showing the problems facing the editor in producing this modern selection.
MS1577 contains a large number of works written in Spanish number tablature, but the composers thereof are thought to have been Spanish in origin. Reviews of modern editions of the pieces by Aguilera, Durón, Torrelhas, Brocarte and del Vado appeared in part 1 of this article. Unfortunately many pieces are still not published in a modern edition, including two Obras on the 2nd Tone by Juan Correa, an incomplete Registro on the second Tone by Cuevaz, and Obra and a registo alto on the fourth Tone by Miguel Sopuerta, five Canções and nine Versos by José de Urroz who was organist in Avila, and eight sets of Fabordones by Martín García de Olague (75 short pieces in total) , the anonymous pieces including three Obras and several short dances (Xacara, Españoleta, Paraletas, Gallarda, Granduca, Folias, Marizapalos, four Entradas, two Canções and two Minuetes), vast amount of short versos arranged in sets on each Tone, with some on the Segundillo, equating to B♭ which was also used by Antonio Valente in his collection published in 1577 in Naples (which was under Spanish rule at the time).
Fr. Roque de Conceição: Livro de obras de órgão
MS 1607 is entitled Livro de obras de Orgão juntas pella coriosidade do P Fr Roque da Conceição Anno de 1695 (>‘Book of organ works collected through the curiosity of Fr Roque da Conceição 1695’); this compiler remains unknown, and since the majority of pieces are unidentified it is possible that those which have not been identified through attributions in MS 964, Braga may even have been composed by him. The second page contains a fascinating diagram of a 42-note short-octave keyboard, from E/C to a‘‘. Each white key is inscribed with its letter name, above which is written the number as used in Spanish tablatures and in Porto MS 1577. In squares above these signs is the number as in the system proposed by Juan Bermudo in his Declaración of 1555. The manuscript contains 67 pieces in 138 folios (no. 46 is entered three times so the total pagination differs from the MS pagination), of which 31 are also preserved in Braga MS 964. The 67 pieces comprise some 30 sets of Versos (five entitled Chirios ie Kyrie, one Antifona, one Ave Maris Stella and one group of three headed simply Adagio) of which 24 are also contained in MS 964. Those unique to MS 1607 include a set of twelve on the eighth Tone by Fr Diogo de Conceição and five anonymous sets. There are also four Batalhas, five Meio Registos, three Phantazias, one Susana, 14 works entitled Obra (of which one is almost a copy of the batalha no. 40) and ten Tentos. One piece is simply headed Adagio, and is in two “movements”, both in triple time, the first seemingly incomplete at bar 42 is followed immediately by the opening chord of the second “moevement”.
The 30 sets of Versos listed in the index (no. 63 is missing in the music part of the volume) total some 130 pieces of between 4-26 bars in length, and, apart from no. 19 (Para Antifona) which stands alone and is in the most unusual key of C♯ minor with two sharps as a key signature, are divided mainly into sets covering all of the Tones. 18 sets are also to be found in MS964, Braga. The distribution is four sets for the first Tone, of which no. 6 is Ave Maris stella, both of the versos for which are in triple time, two for the second, only one for the third (no. 18, all five Versos ending in the rarely encountered key of F♯ minor), two on the fourth Tone, five on the fifth Tone (of which no. 1, nominally on the fifth Tone but actually in D) has eight Versos of which nos. 4, 5 and 7 are in triple time) and no. 21 consists of five Versos ending in F♯ minor, no. 3 is most unusual in changing from C time to 3/ 4 at bar 6), four on the sixth Tone, of which no. 3 is entitled por elami negro and consists of three homoponically chordal pieces in triple-time in E♭, a most unusual key for the period. There are two Versos on the seventh and three on the eighth Tone). The great majority are imitative, but a few are homophonically chordal. The twelve Versos by Diego da Conceição, No.54, include nine Versos which are imitative with subjects frequently including semiquavers, and three which are chordal (nos. 6, 11 and 12, of which the treble of no. 6 consists solely of middle G, and the bass of no. 12 is mainly semiquaver scales. Seven sets do not carry specific Tone designations and are made up of Versos in different keys (as mentioned above no. 63 is omitted in the music part of the volume); No. 37, entitled que se tangerem depois de canta has a key signature of one sharp, with the first Verso cadencing in D, the second in G, no. 62 has four Versos of which the first cadencing in D is like a miniature Toccata with semiquaver runs in each hand, the second, in triple time and in D, opens imitatively before dissolving into figuration, the third comprises only four bars cadencing on E, and the fourth opens in crotchet triplet and cadences on F. No. 64 has two Versos both cadencing on D, the first is imitative, the subject concluding with a semiquaver scale, the second is chordal, and no. 66 has four, the first two are chordal and cadence on D and F respectively, the third is imitative mainly in minims and cadences on A, the final Verso has a key signature of two shaprs and cadences in E. Four of the Kyrie sets (nos. 8 and 9 on the second Tone, 13 on the sixth Tone and 14 on the fifth Tone include five Versos, which implies an Alternatim performance, the other group, no. 20 on the fifth Tone, contains only four. Some Versos end on a minor chord, which the player would presumably have converted into a major chord, although F♯ major in the tuning of the day would have sounded interesting. No. 19 is headed Para Antifona and is imitative; the key signature is two sharps but the 20 bars ends with a cadence in C♯ major, another most unusual key for the period.
The pieces entitled for divided register can be divided into 3 Meio Registos for 2 Tiples, 1 for 1 Tiple and 1 Terçado ie for the solo in the bass (although since D above middle C appears in the bass two manuals are required for execution). A further piece, no. 36, although entitled simply Obra in this MS, appears as a work for divided registers in the Braga Ms for a description see below amongst the Obras. The three pieces for two trebles include nos. 31, 45 and 67; in the lengthy no. 31 (251 bars), although entitled de dous baixos, the solo voices are actually the two upper ones, therefore we would have expected the ttitle to read de dous tiples. It is in five sections, including two in triple time. It includes far more activity in the lower voices, which frequently move in parallel rhythms to the solo voices in the C time sections. It is rhythmically complex with several passages in the 3+3+2 quaver groupings and a more active tenor and bass than many contemporary or a generation earlier Spanish pieces. Doderer has tentatively ascribed this splendid piece de de Araújo on stylistic grounds, and I would certainly agree with this. No. 45, unique to this MS, is a Meio Registo on the Third Tone, with the solo for the two upper parts it is similar in structure to no. 31 but shorter at 149 bars although with a much longer final C time section, and includes passages in thirds in the lower voices at bars 97-106 No. 67, the final work in the MS, the (Obra) de 8 Tom de dous tiples Castellana Meyo Registo, opens with a subject ascending a fourth, which also appears at the opening of the triple time section, switching between 3/2 and 6/4, which concludes the piece. There is much use of thirds in the rh, as well as rhythmic motifs passed between the upper voices over bass and tenor which rarely exceed crotchets. Its title may well refer to Spanish provenance the triple-time variation of the subject pointing possibly to a composer such as Pablo Bruna. The one divided register work for one treble voice, no. 49 de 2 Tom accidental, is by Fr. Diego da Conceição, and is in four voices, with three in the bass and concludes with a triple time passage which switches between 3/2 and 6/4. The opening section is based on imitative presentations of three themes or motifs, and contains quaver triplets as well as semiquaver runs. The piece concludes on an open chord lacking the third. The only piece for the solo in the bass, no. 26, is presented in a complex transcription, with an alternative on three staves to show the crossing of parts. The solo line includes a middle D, and the upper voices descending below the split in bars 138-142 (with the interval between the tenor and the treble being impossible to play with one hand!), necessitating two manuals for performance. It is in seven sections alternating between C time and triple time, closing with some lively passagework in both solo and accompaniment. The varied rhythms include quaver triplets followed by semiquaver passages, and a feeling of restlessness pervades the piece, with the bass line consisting of some sequential quaver passages, semiquaver runs and triplets, requiring an extreme concentration.
Although anonymous in this MS, in MS Braga 964 the three Phantazias are attributed to Pedro de Araújo, two of them (no. 27 on the Fourth Tone and no. 30 on the Eighth Tone) opening with a toccata-like flourish before settling into an imitative work. No. 27, the shortest at 159 bars, includes demanding semiquaver scale passages in contrary motion leading to a short section where the quavers fall naturally into a 3+3+2 rhythm although beamed equally, before an insistent motif based on a semiquaver figure is heard in almost every bar before this imposing piece concludes with a toccata-like coda. No. 30 at 211 bars is a similarly constructed rhythmically varied (including a motif based on the dactylic Canzona rhythm) and impressive piece, with two relatively short triple time sections linked by a C time section with quaver triplets. No. 24, the Phantazia on the First Tone, is a long piece of some 275 bars which opens in long note values before proceeding mainly in quaver movement; much of it is based on sequential short motifs, including one which includes a note followed by its chromatically altered inflection, one which uses semiquavers and one based on syncopation before a triple-time section, the work closing with a short coda. The Susana no. 65 is somewhat shorter than Coelho‘s works on the same subject, but also contains plenty of semiquaver scale passages.
Three of the four Batalhas are ascribed, the unattributed Batalha Famoza no. 40 (which is not the similarly entitled piece in Martín y Coll MS 1358) being almost duplicated by a piece called Obra de 6 Tom sobre Batalha by Pedro de Araújo, also found in the Braga MS. No. 40 contains some 373 bars, and contains all the stock in trade features of the genre; after a slow imitative opening similar to that found in the two examples by Jiménez, there follow passages and motifs being passed between the hands like echos, long held chords in the lh beneath fast runs or arpeggios, repeated quaver chords, (which here include chords of E major and F♯ and C♯ minor). This piece concludes with a toccata-like flourish in C time, preceded by a short section in triple time which makes use of suspensions in the three upper parts. The Batalha de 6 Tom by António Correa Braga (no. 56) commences with a written-out redobre and arpeggios after which there is a short imitative introduction which leads into passages and motifs being passed between the hands like echos. There are sections in which the lh consists of long held octaves beneath single notes in rh either short semiquaver runs or repeated quavers. The triple time section starts in 3/2 with cross rhythms, and then merges into 12/8. There is much use of the 3+3+2 rhythm. At only 193 bars, this is the most inventive and, despite its repeated quaver chords one of the least trivial of the genre. The only example on the fifth Tone is no. 48 by Diego de Conceição, also on the shorter side at 166 bars. It contains similar traits of passages repeated an octave lower as echoes, much use of the 3+3+2 rhythm, and runs and repeated notes over long held bass notes, and repeated quaver chords. The first triple time section is in 3/2 with a few bars in 6/4, this is separated from the succeeding triple passage in 3/ 4 by three bars fo fast scale runs in semiquavers in each hand. The following C time section is in quaver triplets with interesting beamings of the notes, which commence on the second quaver of the beat. The final section, in triple time, is loosely imitative. The Batalha on the sixth Tone by Pedro de Araújo at 205 bars opens with imitative figure of no. 40 before launching into a series of arpeggios in repeated notes followed by an echo section which soon gives way to repeated notes both singly and in thirds punctuated by fast runs, echo passages, rh single note runs over held chords, before a loosely imitative triple time section which is succeeded by more chordal repetition as well as fast single note runs in each hand, leading to a triple time section of repeated notes or chords in the rhythm transcribed here as q-q-q-c-q which leads into the closing wind-down in C time.
The ten Tentos are primarily imitative in four parts, the opening subjects being presented in long note values, with varied rhythmic patterns (including the 3+3+2) and motifs, and most have triple-time sections. Points of interest include the following: no. 32 on the first Tone is mainly in quaver movement with only a few bars of semiquaver figuration, it has the less common quaver group of 2+3+3 in addition to the 3+3+2, and the triple time section, transcribes as 3/ 4 includes semiquaver runs precluding a fast tempo. No.39 on the second Tone is only 60 bars in length, and is quiet varied rhythmically, including dotted quavers, triplet quavers and 2+3+3 groups, no. 41 opens with a Toccata-like flourish before settling into a composition based on a subject remarkably similar to one by Diego de Alvarado found in the hand-written appendix to the copy of Correa’s Facultad Orgánica preserved in the library of the Palace, Ajuda, and includes quaver triplets and semiquaver passages before the triple-time section concludes its 112 bars. No. 42 is another short composition of61 bars in C time only, again mainly in crotchets and quavers; two subjects are presented in the opening bars, the second one entering in the alto in the second bar. No. 47 on the second Tone is attributed to Pedro de Araújo and is a far gentler piece than many of his compositions, its 146 bars proceeding mainly in quavers. No. 51 is a short piece of 60 bars entirely in triple time moving almost entirely in crotchets with just a few bars with dotted rhythms to vary the progression. No. 55 on the fourth Tone, of 110 bars, is attributed to D.Agostinho da Cruz ( a verso by him, discovered by Manuel Joaquim, has been published by Kastner in Silva Iberica) and moves almost entirely in quavers after the subject is stated, with an editorial conjectural reconstruction of several bars even so application of further accidentals will need to be considered carefully. No. 57 at 197 bars seems only very loosely constructed with passages of paired imitation between the hands, and much toccata-like writing including written out trills. No. 58 is also quite loosely constructed with varied rhythmic passages, and quavers in either hand against long held chords. No. 61, which lacks a title in the MS, is a short piece based on the Pange Lingua and is almost identical to a piece by Diego de Alvarado also included in the hand-written appendix to the copy of Correa’s Facultad mentioned above.
The Obras are also primarily imitative in four parts. No. 25 “por B quadro” ie with a ♭ natural instead of the expected flat, is imitative and in C time throughout is attributed to Pedro de Araújo in the Braga MS, and contains a few passages in 3+2+3 rhythm and concludes with much use of sequential imitation of motifs. No. 28 is on the 7th Tone por G-sol-re-ut and is also in the Brag Ms where it is also unattributed; a shorter piece at only 109 bars,and also in C time throughout, it contains plenty of semiquaver scalar passages as well as quaver tri[pets and written out ornaments. No. 290 “de 1 Tom accidental” is a similar work of 148 bars, with some part crossing requiring mental gymnastics. The subject bears a resemblance to the opening notes of the first line of Susana. No. 33 “de segundo Tom” is based on a popular subject D-C-B♭-E♭-D and covers 156 bars opening in C time with quavers as the shortest note value, followed by a triple time section transcribed as /2 with unequal crotchet triplets which leads into a C time section of quaver triplets against long notes before semiquaver passages and a further short triple time section in 3/4 before a brief coda in C time in crotchets and minims with some suspensions. No 34, Obra de 6 Tom sobre a Batalha, is remarkably close to the Batalha no. 40, see above. No. 36, Obra (title competed by the editor as de 1 Tom) lasts for 172 bars, opening the first section including equal, dotted and triplet quavers before the central triple time section in 6/4; the first subject for the final section opens with an octave semiquaver passage, the final subject featuring a dotted quaver-semiquaver rhythm. Most interestingly this piece is also included in the MS 964 at Braga, where it is entitled Meio Registo de 2 Tom de dois tiples e dois contrabaixos, clearly intended for performance with divided registers, the solo being in the two upper voices. No. 38, attributed to Fr. Carlos de S. Joseph is on the 5th Tone, and is a somewhat shorter piece at only 80 bars, in C time throughout and with only a few semiquaver runs disturbing the quaver progress. Of interest is the beaming for off the beat quaver triplet groups, with the 12 quavers being grouped as rest+4+4+3. No. 43 is on the second Tone “por G-sol-re-ut” and at 229 bars is a substantial piece which concludes with a triple-tiem section in 3/ 4. Again mainly in quaver movement, there are a few semiquaver runs, with some interesting beaming in bars 135-6 which includes 3+3+2 quavers against regularly beamed semiquavers. No. 44, on the 3rd Tone, is another quite substantial piece at 203 bars, again mainly in quavers, although with a few bars of semiquaver passagework, and concluding with a 3/4 triple-time section which includes crotchet-dotted crotchet-quaver rhythm. No. 50 on the first Tone is attributed to Pedro de Araújo in the Braga MS, and at 92 bars is another shorter piece that includes suspensions and dissonances as well as augmented chords in its crotchet and quaver progression. No. 52 on the first Tone “sobre a Salve” is based on the opening three notes of the Salve Regina, which are woven into motifs as the piece progresses with some augmented chords, and concludes with some bars of 3+3+2 quavers. No. 53 “de 8 Tom accidental Ut em D-La-Sol-Re” (in the Braga MS it is attributed to a Fr. João de Christo) is based on the ascending hexachord, albeit with a sharpened fourth in the opening entries, to which is added the descending hexachord in later entries. Mainly in crotchets and quavers with a few passages of quaver triplets and even fewer semiquaver scale runs, this is the only example on this popular European subject of which I am aware from a Portuguese source, but there are excellent Spanish examples by Bruna and Cabanilles.
Both of the modern editions are hardbound, with most informative prefaces in Portuguese and Engish to the Porto MS 1607 but unfortunately in Portuguese and German only to the Braga MS 964 volume, which contains a most useful table of cross references of sources. The quality of the pieces in the two main MS collections is varied, but those by de Araújo are worthy of a place in recitals as are several of the longer, more intricately wrought unascribed pieces, and while not perhaps of the highest quality musically, the Batalhas are great fun to play and would also enliven any festive occasion. Many of the pieces will pose technical challenges, and the player will need to consider carefully whether to apply further accidentals, or, indeed, to ignore the editors’ suggestions. The Versos still have something to offer to players looking for short interludes in an appropriate key before or during the service.
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© John Collins 2015