Philippe Rogier (c.1561-1596)
Although born in modern-day France, Philippe Rogier spent much of his career in Spain and is part of a distinguished succession of Franco-Flemish composers – including Nicolas Gombert and Pierre de Manchicourt – who served in the Capilla Flamenca, eventually rising to the rank of Director of Music at Philip II’s court in 1586. Sadly much of his music was destroyed by fire during the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 but 5 Masses and 22 motets survive in publication as well as a handful of other works in manuscripts (some found as far afield as Mexico). Stylistically his music is often reminiscent of his predecessor Gombert, particularly in his use of dense six-part textures at a time when truly contrapuntal six-voice music was becoming unfashionable elsewhere (it is no surprise that Rogier’s finest Mass – Missa Ego sum qui sum a6 – is a parody of a Gombert motet). However, Rogier was clearly aware of musical developments elsewhere as a number of more modern polychoral works by him are preserved in manuscript format. Ultimately, his music represents the final flowering of the Franco-Flemish polyphonic school alongside traits of the Spanish tradition within which he worked.