Juan Esquivel (c.1560-before 1630)
Born in Ciudad Rodrigo, Juan Esquivel was one of Spain’s finest composers of the so-called Siglo de Oro. As with so many figures of his age, we know few biographical details of Esquivel’s life and even his death date is not clear. He appears to have been enrolled as a chorister at his home cathedral in 1568 and would have received musical tuition from Juan Navarro. He went to hold positions at the cathedrals of Oviedo and Calahorra before returning to his native Ciudad Rodrigo in 1591, where he was patronised by Don Pedro Ponce de León, Bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo and Dominican Friar. It was in the nearby city of Salamanca that 3 large volumes of Esquivel’s music were published in the early 17th century. His output is therefore extensive – far greater than Alonso Lobo, for example – and yet today his music remains relatively unknown. Upon inspection of his three extant publications, we can see music that is carefully crafted and distinctly “Spanish” in character. Like his Iberian contemporaries – notably Sebastián de Vivanco – archaic contrapuntal practices, such as mensural canons and polytextuality, play a significant role in his work but so too does clarity and concision and there can be no doubt over his place within the pantheon of Spain’s leading musicians.
Asperges me – ATBarB or SATB
Missa Ductus est Jesus – ATBarB or SATB