Duarte Lobo (c.1565-1646)

 

During the early decades of the 17th century, complex polyphonic composition endured far longer on the Iberian peninsula than elsewhere in Europe and Duarte Lobo was one the finest Portuguese exponents of this increasingly old-fashioned art form. Like many other Portuguese musicians of the time, he studied at with Manuel Mendes at Évora Cathedral (where Lobo later became the mestre de capela), later assuming the same role at Lisbon Cathedral. He is unique among Portuguese composers of the period, being the only one to have his music printed by the famous publishing house of Christophe Plantin in Antwerp, and his music appears to have circulated widely (though, like Philippe Rogier, some music seems to have been lost in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755). As with Alonso Lobo in Spain, archaic devices – such as unrealised canons and ostinati – feature prominently in his music but so too do more modern “Baroque” techniques such as short solo passages and a sense of tonal harmony.

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