Estêvão Lopes Morago’s (c.1575-c.1630) motet pro defunctis Comissa mea pavesco is, for me, one of the most “word-paintfull” works that I know of polyphony written in Portugal. This motet is scored for six voices (SSAATB). In this case, it’s a masterwork by an almost unknown composer who lived all his life in Viseu, a city in the interior of Portugal.
Morago works with the dissonances in a bold way. He takes harmonic ambiguity to a high level as also as the sudden rhythmic alterations from traditional imitative sections to homophonic sections with very short rhythmic figures, using the 6-part texture to his advantage.
The work was recorded by pioneer early music vocal group Pro Cantione Antiqua in their CD devoted to the works of Morago and Diogo Dias Melgaz, released by Hyperion Records in 1992.