My Harp Is Turned to Mourning: Tomás Luis de Victoria, Alonso Lobo, "Mysticism," and the Recording History of the Spanish Renaissance Canon
Peisner, Aaron M
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Until the 1961 publication of Spanish Cathedral Music in the Golden Age by the American musicologist Robert Stevenson, the music of the Spanish late Renaissance masters Juan Navarro (ca. 1530-1580), Alonso Lobo (1555-1617), Sebastián de Vivanco (c. 1551-1622), and Juan Esquivel (fl. 1608-1613) was unknown to all but a small number of specialists. Their music remained largely unrecorded until the late 1970s, and since then, each of the four composers has followed a different trajectory in the world of Renaissance music. Where does their music stand today, and what forces have played a role in shaping the reception of their music? To answer this question, the historiography of Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), the most widely renowned Spanish Renaissance composer, is explored, through music history survey texts, early editions from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the recording history of his music, particularly in England. Additionally, a “meta-discography” of Victoria’s works, which compiles statistics detailing and how frequently each work by Victoria appears on disc, is constructed and analyzed. After musical analysis of some of Victoria’s most widely-recorded works, a similar meta-discography and analysis are made and applied to the music of Navarro, Lobo, Vivanco, and Esquivel, with the hope of better understanding which works have become canonical or are in the process of entering the canon. The historiography and recording history of Victoria’s music, as well as the association of the vague idea of “mysticism” with his music, has had some effect on the recording history of Navarro, Lobo, Vivanco, and Esquivel. The appendices include complete discographies of the music of Navarro, Lobo, Vivanco, and Esquivel, as well as the meta-discographies of those four composers as well as Victoria.