Alonso Lobo: Versa est in luctum (Turned into mourning) (1602) 5′
Francisco Guerrero: Missa pro defunctis (Requiem Mass) (1566) 50′
Marc Díaz, conductor
Guerrero’s Missa pro defunctis takes pride of place alongside requiems by Morales and Victoria.Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599) was a priest and musician from Seville. Together with Cristóbal de Morales and Tomás Luis de Victoria, he was one of the three figureheads of Spanish Renaissance polyphony. His music is not just limited to religious works, since he also composed some secular music. Among his work, Missa pro defunctis (1582) takes pride of place alongside the requiems of his peers Morales and Victoria. Written for four voices, it is one of Renaissance Spain’s finest polyphonic compositions, acknowledged by musicologists such as Felip Pedrell in their research into the history of music. The work reflects 16th-century Castile’s aesthetic fascination with death, under the attentive eye of the counter-reformist Council of Trent, which strove to achieve a return to Gregorian chants and plainsong, although it tolerated vocal polyphony with no accompanying instruments.