I have been a fan of Francisco Guerrero’s (1528-1599) music for years and I worked three motets from his 1570 book for my MA thesis. There are many of his sacred works (masses, motets, etc) that I enjoy but what really catches my attention is the importance given by Guerrero to genres of ephemeral existance when compared to the liturgical one like the spiritual songs and villancicos. He stands as the only composer who published works of this kind in the second half of the sixteenth century when, for example, compared to Victoria of whom no para-liturgical works have survived to this day.
Among these works we find the villancico Niño Dios de amor herido, which is probably Guerrero’s best-known non-liturgical work among choral circles. It was published in the book of Canciones y Villanescas espirituales printed in Venice in 1589, a collection of songs comprising about 300 works that could be used both as private or public devotions.
I recorded a version of Niño Dios with one of my groups – Ensemble Mensurable, in a very informal venue three year ago at a cultural place called Espaço Salgado in Queluz (near Lisbon). The group is not active any more, but we managed to record several works from our programme. There are other versions of this work by professional groups available on YouTube.