VENI DOMINE & VERE DOMINUS EST
Filipe de Magalhães (c1563-1652) was most probably a companion of Duarte Lobo (c1565-1646) and Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650) at Évora Cathedral, and was arguably the most acclaimed Portuguese composer among his contemporaries. In the extraordinary context of musical activity in Portugal during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, he has been pointed out as the favourite pupil of the renowned master Manuel Mendes (c1547-1605), who bequeathed his musical estate to him in exchange for an intended posthumous edition that sadly never came to fruition. By the end of the 1580s, Magalhães was already a music tutor and singer in the service of Évora Cathedral, from which he would leave for Lisbon in 1596. There, according to the pioneering historian and bibliographer Diogo Barbosa Machado (1682-1772), he was appointed ‘master of the Caza da Misericordia of Lisbon’ and, ‘with great credit to his talent’, master of the Royal Chapel—where he succeeded Francisco Garro (d1623)—from 1623 to 1641, leaving an indelible mark as one of the most esteemed Portuguese musicians.
As a pedagogue, Filipe de Magalhães is credited with having guided such distinguished composers as Estêvão de Brito (c1575-1641) and Estêvão Lopes Morago (c1575-after 1630). In 1614 he published Cantus ecclesiasticus, a book consisting mainly of plainsong dedicated to the liturgical Office of the Dead, whose success can be gauged by its continual re-publication over almost two centuries (until at least 1804), and which earned him the title of ‘distinguished master’ in the Art of plainsong, a treatise by Pedro Thalesio (c1563-c1629) published in Coimbra in 1618. Magalhães, nonetheless, had to wait until 1636 to get his two volumes of polyphonic music—the Missarum liber and Cantica Beatissimae Virginis—published in Lisbon at the workshop of Lourenço Craesbeeck. Aside from the chronological coincidence (it was a remarkable year for Craesbeeck which also saw the publication of two of the three Mass books by Manuel Cardoso), Magalhães’s two volumes are also interesting because they are dedicated, respectively, to Philip III of Portugal (Philip IV of Spain) and Dom João, at the time Duke of Braganza but who, four years later, would be proclaimed John IV, King of Portugal, thus concluding the troubled six-decade period (1580-1640) that would come to be known as the Iberian Union.
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Eva Braga Simões
Paulina Sá Machado
Gabriela Braga Simões
Gabriel Neves dos Santos