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Manuel Mendes
c.1547 - 1605
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M. Mendes
Manuel Mendes (c.1547 - 24/09/1605), a Portuguese composer; born in Lisbon, Portugal, died in Evora, Portugal.
A copy (1551) of Cristóbal de Morales’s (c.1500-1553) Missarum Liber Secundus has a manuscript appendix which contains a Missa pro defunctis for four voices by Emanuelis Lusitani, which is thought to be the Portuguese composer Manuel Mendes.
The so-called "Évora School," was founded at Évora Cathedral by Manuel Mendes. Some students: Estêvão Lopes Morago, Manuel Cardoso, Filipe de Magalhães, Estêvão de Brito, João Laurenço Rebelo, etc.
There was an important school of polyphonic music in Portugal in those times (Évora and Lisbon); unfortunately, many unpublished works disappeared in the earthquake of Lisbon on 1 November 1755.
Author:Arlindo Correia
Missa pro Defunctis
Period:High Renaissance
Musical form:Mass for CATB and CATB
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Missa pro Defunctis of eigth parts consists out of:
01. Introitus: Requiem aeternam 4’51”
02. Kyrie: Kirie, Christe, Kirie 1’34”
03. Offertorium: Domine Jesu Christe
04. Sanctus: Sanctus & Benedictus, Hosanna 1’20”
05. Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei I, III 1‘21“

This Missa pro defunctis à 8 is incomplete and is set by Manuel Mendes for eight parts (CATB x CATB) in a real polychoral style. Relatively little is known when compared to Manuel Cardoso's, Duarte Lobo's or even Filipe de Magalhães's of Manuel Mendes's (c.1547-1605) Missa pro Defunctis which survives in its four-voice version. This eight-voice (polychoral) version of a Missa pro defunctis recently identified from a transcript of a Mexican manuscript - Archivo del Venerable Cabildo de la Catedral de Puebla - was initially attributed to Gonçalo Mendes Saldanha (1580-1645). In the literature thanks to João Pedro d’Alvarenga we found two archives (AVCCP, LP 3 ff.46v-66 and more MEX-Pc Choirbook 3, ff 46v-67r,) compared with the four-voices Missa pro defunctis by Mendes P-Lap Liv. 143 add. Ff. [i]v-10r+12v-14r Emmamuelis Lusitani. If you compare this eight-part setting with the four-part setting by Manuel Mendes it is without any doubt you see and hear the four-part Missa pro defunctis in one of the chorus CATB throughout this eight-part Mass of the Dead. For instance the Offertorium ‘Domine Jesu Christe’ of this Missa pro Defunctis à 8 is set for four voices CATB and is identical to the Offertorium out of the four-voices Missa pro defunctis by Manuel Mendes.
In the Introitus, Requiem aeternam à 8 is set a new (Ms 31-39) three-voices version (CAT) ‘te decet hymnus Deus in Sion’ Normally this part wilt be sung in plainchant. This movement consists without repetition out of 58 measures. Choir I starts the first Kyrie in an imitative way, which is identical to the answer of choir II. The two choirs merge as from Ms 10 ending in F. Choir I starts with the Christe in an imitative way as from Ms 22 the choirs merge with a lively Christe eleison. The closing Kyrie is very lively with lots of eight’s in all parts. The Offertorium ‘Domine Jesu Christe’ in this Missa pro Defunctis à 8 is identical to the Offertorium out of the four-voices Missa pro defunctis by Manuel Mendes. The belonging plainchant is paraphrased quoted in the Cantus. This movement consists out of 67 measures. In the Sanctus and Benedictus the plainchant is quoted in the Cantus of Choir-I and starts homophonic with CATB of Choir-I. This movement is more homophonic with some ornamented elements in other parts as Altus-I, Tenor-I and Tenor-II. Mendes uses in this movement often the figure [dotted quarter note with and eighth note) in several parts. The Sanctus is set in a-Aeolian and the Benedictus in G-Mixolydian. The Agnus Dei starts with the belonging short plainchant incipit. The plainchant is paraphrased in Cantus of Choir-I. This movement is set in E-Phrygian, in fact a moving e-minor. In his last will Mendes left his music-books to Magalhães, but an attempt by the dean of the Royal Chapel of Lisboa (of which Magalhães was a member and later Chapel Master) to have some books of Mendes's masses and Magnificat settings published unfortunately failed because of the price demanded by the Baltasar Moretus firm of Antwerp. In the same source of this Missa pro defunctis we found too a score of a motet defunctorum, a funeral motet ‘Domine secundum actum meum’ a five-part setting (CAATB) of the 8th Responsorium out of the Officium Defunctorum , Liber Usualis (edition 1936, p. 1798). At this stage it’s uncertain who is the composer, Manuel Mendes or the above mentioned Conçalo Mendes Saldanha. This Mass is found in Portugaliæ Musica XXXVII: Antologia de Polifonia Portuguesa (1490-1680) [No.20]. Lisboa MCMLXXXII and in AVCCP, LP 3 ff.46v-66, Catedral Puebla.
Author:Wim Goossens
Missa pro defunctis
Period:High Renaissance
Composed in:1575c
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
This requiem is for four voices.
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis