Vicente Lusitano (d. after 1561)

 

Even by the standards of 16th century musicians, we know very little about the life of Vicente Lusitano, not even the years of his birth or death. However, we do know that he was born in Olivença and that he was of mixed race heritage, being born to a white father and black mother. He was later ordained priest and left his native Portugal for Rome where two musical treatises and a book of motets where published, making him “the first Black published composer” according to the musicologist Robert Stevenson. Following his conversion to Protestantism in the mid 1550s, he appears to have sought refuge in Württemberg in 1561 but no further details are known. Although he was not as prolific a composer as his contemporaries (he was in fact more renowned as a theorist in his lifetime), his 1555 book of motets contains 23 pieces which show a distinctive musical voice, often exploring unusual sonorities and chromatic harmony. 

Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Aspice, Domine, de sede sancta tua SAATB
Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Benedictum est nomen tuum SAATB
Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Clamabat autem mulier SSATB
Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Emendemus in melius SAATB

Aspice, Domine,
de sede sancta tua –
ATTBarBarB or SAATTB

£6.30 per 10 copies

Benedictum est nomen tuum –
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£6.30 per 10 copies

Clamabat autem mulier Chananea –
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£6.30 per 10 copies

Emendemus in melius –
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£6.30 per 10 copies

Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Inviolata
Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Regina caeli SSATB
Button to buy product Vicente Lusitano Sancta mater SAATB

Inviolata, integra,
et casta es, Maria –
AATTBarBarBB or SSAATTBB

£12.60 per 10 copies

Regina caeli –
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£6.30 per 10 copies

Sancta mater –
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£6.30 per 10 copies

Coming soon

A selection of motets from Lusitano’s Liber primus epigramatum.

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