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Cristoforo Montemayor (Hispanus)
16th - century
No picture
C. Montemayor
Cristoforo or Cristobal de Montemayor (or: Monte Maior, Cristoforo, ) is a far unknown Spanish composer who lived in the 16th Century and who worked probably as a singer in the Papal Chapel in Rome, Italy. The Chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Vallicella) is the principal church of the Oratorians, a religious congregation of secular priests. The Orations are founded by St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) in 1561 at a time in the 16th century when the Counter Reformation saw the emergence of a number of new religious organisations such as the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In this Chiesa Nuova are very important choir books by Montemayor in the 16th Century preserved. The music preserved in the archives of this Chiesa Nuova is a small amount of a much larger collection. It is perhaps one of the most significant music in seventeenth-century Rome, which was accumulated as from 1575 for the liturgical and spiritual needs of that Congregation of the Oratory. From that point of view (Oratory) it is not surprising that a lot of the vocal work by Montemayor is set for double-choir to be performed and may be used in the Chiesa Nuova. His Liber primus was a gift from the composer Montemayor presented to the Oratorians in October 1593. See more by Rosemarie Derby in her the liturgical music of the Chiesa Nuova, Rome 2018. This Liber primus has at least sixty-two vocal sacred works for eight, six, five and four voices composed by Montemayor and has been published in Naples in 1593. A year before this impressive sacred choir book - consisting out of 179 folios - was finished, Montemayor created too in this excellent choir-book the Marian Vesper.
His music and as we know his only preserved music is published in: Liber Primus cum octo et sex et Quinque et Quator Vocibus composita per Cristoforus Montemayor Hispanus Ano Dni 1593 Laus, Deo, Cristoforo Montemayor Hispanus Vesperi Cum Octo; Della Madona sant. ma Vergine, e Madre del’Alto Signor Iddio Il qualle Lui cidia La sua santa grazia e pace in questo Mondo, et poi a l’altro il suo regno Amen In Napoli, Ano D. 1592 Finis.
Four pieces by Montemayor appeared in: Nuove Laudi Ariose DELLA BEAT.MA VERGINE Scelte da diuersi Autori à Quattro Voci Per il Reuer. D. Giouanni Arascione Piemontese da Cairo Prete secolare. In ROMA, per Nicolò Mutij 1600. Con Lincenza de' Superiori. 1600.
Two pieces are published in Secondo Libro delle Laude published in 1583 by the Congregation of the Oratory in Rome. Much of the work of Montemayor is about to be republished.
Author:Wim Goossens
Missa Defunctor Cum Quator Vocum
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1593
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin Missa Defunctorum
This Missa pro defunctis is despite its title set by Cristoforo Montemayor for eight voices CCAATTBB From this Mass the part Absolve Domine is incomplete and for the Agnus Dei Montemayor even has set two versions one for four voices and another one for eight voices. This version is following the liturgical reforms brought about by the Council of Trent (1545-1563). The reforms, which were formally embraced in Spain in January 1575, brought Spanish usage into conformity with the Roman Missal of 1570. But as Spanish composer and singer Montemayor worked – we suppose - in Rome. At this stage we only saw some manuscripts by Montemayor.

This Requiem Mass has the following movements:
01. Introito: Requiem, aeternam dona eis Domine
02. Kyrie
03. Absolve Domine, animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
04. Offertorio: Domine Jesu Christe
05. Sanctus
06. Benedictus
07. Agnus Dei
08. Communio: Lux aeterna

This Requiem Mass is published in Roma, Biblioteca Nazionale, Mus.135 Liber primus cum otto et sex et quinque et quatuor vocibus composita per Cristoforum Monte mayor hispanum año dni 1593, f 152v-162r.
Author:Wim Goossens
De Profundis clamavi a8
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1593
Musical form:Motet à 8 vocibus
Text/libretto:Latin from de Officium Defunctorum
This De Profundis is a motet and a psalm from the de Officium Defunctorum composed for eight voices in double Chorus (CATB and CATB) by Cristoforo Montemayor. Normally De Profundis is the text of Psalm 129 in the Roman Rites. Besides on three places in the Liber Usualis (edition 1936) this text is used in de Officium Defunctorum/ Office of the Dead. First in the Exsequarium ordo, Burial service bearing the corpse to the church, page 1763, second in Ad Vesperas, Vespers page 1774 and third in Ad Laudes, the Lauds page 1805.
It is without any doubt Cristoforo Montemayor composed this variation for the Office of the Dead because he used at the end the words Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
The choice of texts in the Roman rites and the order in which they occur in sources all around Europe vary in that time according to local uses! The more often in the Spanish region this text is used in the Office of the Dead by Pedro de Cristo (c.1550-1618) and Sebastián de Vivanco (c.1550-1622). Even Pierre de Manchicourt (c.1510-1562) and Leonard Lechner (1553-1606) used the same text in a way there Spanish colleagues did. Of course a lot of composers in that time composed on the psalm De Profundis: I mention Vulpius (1602), Madelka (1586), Croce (1599) with special text after Francesco Bembo (1544-1699), Mouton (1558), Clement (1559), Ducis (1542), Josquin (1520, 1521, 1539), Willaert (1550), Riccio ( 1621), Cossoni (1667), Lassus (1559), Sweelinck (1619) but nearly all of them used the Gloria Patri et filio. Thus that compositions were – principally spoken - not used in the Office of the Dead. This motet is set by Montemayor on the occasion of a funeral. Which is uncertain.
This beautiful double choir setting is set – in low texture - by Cristoforo Montemayor Hispanus.

The Cantus of Chorus I starts with the used plainchant intro. Followed by Chorus I in a homophonic polyphonic texture. In Ms12 the two chorus joined for the first time together in “orationem meam, here my prayers”. Montemayor uses a lot of syncope’s through all this motet, besides that he sets frequently the musically more rhythmic figure a dotted quarter with an eight. In Ms 51 in the phrase “Speravit anima mea in Domine, my soul hoped in God,” Montemayor sets four ascending eight notes like word-painting in the Cantus, Tenor and Bassus of Chorus I.
At certain places Montemayor uses through all this motet sharps and flats. The two choirs follows each other in the Ventian coro spezatti style, but not in the same texture. In Ms 81 the two choirs join for the second time together in “et ipse redimet Isrrael, and He shall redeem Israel”.
As mentioned above this De Profundis ends as from Ms 83 with a stilled Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis started by Chorus II, answered by Chorus I culminating in a last Dona eis Requiem in both Chorus I and II. For the last time Monetmayor sets an interesting dotted quarter with an eight at the end in Ms 94 (in Altus of Choir II) with three descending eight notes in Tenor of Choir I on “Domine, Lord”. This motet is set in E-Phrygian.
This motet is published in Liber Primus cum octo et sex/Quinque et Quator Vocibus Composita Per/Cristoforjj Monte/Mayor Hispanus/ano Dni/Laus, Deo, /MDXCIII/Cristoforo Montemayor/Hispanus/Vesperi Cum Octo; Della Madona sant. ma:/Vergine, e Madre del'Alto Signor Iddio Il/qualle Lui cidia[!] La sua santa grà e pace in | questo Mondo, et poi a l'altro il suo regno | Amen | In Napoli, Ãno D. MDXCII| Finis
Author:Wim Goossens
Text De Profundis
De Profundis Clamavi ad Te, Domine; Domine exaudi vocem (orationem) meam.
Fiant aures tuae intendentes in vocem depractionis meae.
Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine; Domine quis sustenebit?
Quia apud Te propitiatio est; et propter legem tuam sustinui Te Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus; speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodio matutina usque ad noctem, speret Israel in Domino;
Quia apud Dominum misericordia et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israel ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Out of the depths I have cried to you, Lord; Lord, hear my prayers.
Let your ears attend to the voice of my calling.
If you, Lord, shall mark our iniquities; Lord who shall abide it?
For there is a mercy with you; and by reason of your law I have waited for you Lord.
My soul has relied on His word; my soul has hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord;
for with the Lord there is mercy and with him copious redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
Contributor:Wim Goossens