Juan Esquivel

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Aliases: Juan de Esquivel; Juan Esquivel de Barahona


Born: c. 1560, Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain

Died: after 1625


Juan Esquivel was a Spanish composer, pupil of Juan Navarro, maestro de capilla of Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral (1574–8). Esquivel was maestro de capilla at Oviedo Cathedral from 1581 to 1585, then at Calahorra Cathedral until 1591 and thereafter at Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral until his death sometime during the third decade of the seventeenth century.

Esquivel was one of the most prolific, and also one of the finest Spanish composers of his time; his motets stand comparison with those of Victoria on the same texts. The first of his publications, Missarum … liber primus (1608), includes three masses based on Guerrero motets and a six-voice batalla based on Janequin's La bataille. Two of the four-voice masses in his 1613 Liber secundus are parodies: one on Guerrero's motet Quasi cedrus and the other on Rodrigo de Ceballos's widely circulated motet Hortus conclusus. Esquivel combines old techniques such as cantus firmus ostinatos and canonic construction with the newer procedures characteristic of the generation of Alonso Lobo: harmony coloured by the use of accidentals, paired imitation in direct or contrary motion, climaxes in a high register for particularly poignant texts, dramatic pauses and contrasts of texture. His works were used extensively in Spain and Portugal throughout the 17th century and reached Mexico before 1610. (Robert Stevenson)

View the Wikipedia article on Juan Esquivel.

List of choral works

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  • Motecta festorum et dominicarum cum communi sanctorum, IV, V, VI, et VIII vocibus concinnanda (Salamanca, Artus Tabernielis, 1608)
  • Missarum Ioannis Esquivelis in alma ecclesia Civitatensi portionarii, et cantorum praefecti, liber primus superiorum permissu, Salmanticæ, ex officina typographica Arti Taberniel Antverpiani, anno a Christo nato M.DC.VIII (Salamanca: Artus Tabernielis, 1608)
  • Ioannis, Esquivel, Civitatensis, et eiusdem sanctæ ecclesiæ portionarii, psalmorum, hymnorum, magnificarum et B. Mariæ quatuor antiphonarum de tempore, necnon et missarum tomus secundus (Salamanca: Francisco de Cea Tesa, 1613)
  • Lost book of hymns, motets, falsobordone items, and pieces for instruments (Salamanca, 1623)

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