One of the first editions I prepared for the Polyphonia series of the Editions MPMP in late 2012 was the collection of responsories for Christmas matins by composer Estêvão Lopes Morago which make the number 6 of this series.
Morago was born in Spain around 1575 and came at an early age for the choirboys college of Évora Cathedral. He obtain a degree in Arts at the University of Évora and made most of his musical career in Viseu Cathedral. It was in this institution’s musical context that the choirbook (P-Va Ms 3) containing the nine Christmas responsories was copied, around 1628, two years before his presumed death.
Morago’s Christmas responsories are scored for four voices (SATB) with the verses for three voices (mostly SAT). In some works the musical text was transposed a major second or a major third downwards.
Preview available on Humanities Commons
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Two of the responsories (Quem vidistis, Pastores? and O magnum mysterium) are available on YouTube. Grupo Vocal Olisipo recorded this music in CD in mid-90s, although from an older edition.