Estêvão Lopes Morago • Commissa mea pavesco

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.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful piece!


    1. Yes! Sung it a couple of years ago. The texture is amazing.


  2. natalyadrian says:

    Wonderful! I especially like the pic on youtube ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s Viseu Cathedral :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. natalyadrian says:

        I know. I googled it and I’m actually reading about it now. I meant that pic on youtube. There is a little drawing and it was quite funny to see that drawing with 17th century music.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. natalyadrian says:

        Just finished reading about the cathedral in Viseu. The interior is amazing. And I read that there is the Sacred Art Museum. Very, very interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s the museum “Grão Vasco”, the building next to the Cathedral (former Seminar) that you can see in the photo from my post. Morago was chapel master in the Cathedral from around 1595 to at least 1618, great composer, as you may listen in my last 2 posts.


  3. gelsobianco says:

    Che meraviglia tutto! (lo scrivo in italiano)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grazie gelsobianco!


  4. gelsobianco says:

    I’m pleased to be in your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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