Estêvão Lopes Morago

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Alias: Estevao Lopes Morago


Born: c. 1575

Died: after 1630


Estêvão Lopes Morago (or Estebán Lopez Morago) was born in Vallecas (near Madrid), c1575 and died probably in Orgens (near Viseu), around 1630. He was a Portuguese composer of Spanish birth.

He studied at the Colégio dos Moços (at Évora Cathedral) from 1592 to 1596 with Filipe de Magalhães, receiving his bachelor's degree on 3 March 1596. In 1599, he was appointed Mestre de Capela at the cathedral of Viseu. He was already a priest and licenciate when, in 27 September 1605, the bishop of Viseu instituted him in a benefice of S. Pedro da Cota.

After 25 years as Mestre de Capela, the chapter of the cathedral gives him a one month leave, for him to go to Lisbon to negotiate with the royal printer his intentions of publishing a substantial amount of his works. Unable to secure a favourable contract in Lisbon, he returns to Viseu to supervise the copying of one of the two surviving manuscript collections (P-va), a Vesperal (1628) of 111 folios containing 3 psalms, 18 hymns and 4 Magnificat settings.

Immediately after 1628 he seems to have left for a short visit to Spain. He then continued as Mestre de Capela until April 1630. In that year he signs a gift copy of Magalhães's Officium Defuctorum as a friar minor, possibly resulting of he's retiring to the Franciscan convent at Orgens, 3 km from Viseu.

The two surviving sources of Morago's music are the above-mentioned Vesperal of 1628, and a Livro da Coresma of 149 folios, which, besides Lenten music, also contains 81 compositions for Sundays in Advent, Christmas, Purification and the Office of the Dead. He wrote motets, psalms (some for double choir), Christmas responsories, hymns and Magnificat settings. The popularity of his music is demonstrated in a 18th century copied manuscript which contains some of his double-choir psalms.

Like his contemporaries Brito, Cardoso and Lobo, Morago's music is in the stile antico (or, if dearing, proto-harmonic style). But this aesthetic position permited him to write some of the most spiritual works (like Oculi Mei or De Profundis) of Portuguese polyphony.

View the Wikipedia article on Estêvão Lopes Morago.

List of choral works

Click here to search for this composer on CPDL


External links