The Spanish composer Juan de Anchieta (b. Azpeitia, 1462; d. Azpeitia, 1523) was a singer in the court chapel of Queen Isabella the Catholic (1489-1495), maestro de capilla to her son Don Juan (1495-1497) and, after the queen’s death in 1504, chaplain and singer in the service of her daughter, Joanna. In Joanna’s entourage he visited Flanders and in 1506 he was in England during the return voyage to Spain with the chapel of her consort Philip the Fair, other members of which included the famous musicians Pierre de la Rue and Alexander Agricola. In 1519 Charles V issued a declaration that Anchieta was too old for further service at court, and shortly afterwards the latter retired. The number of compositions by Anchieta found in a manuscript now preserved at Segovia Cathedral, which contains a rich collection of Franco-Flemish works, not only shows his prominence at that time as a composer of religious works, but it would also suggest that he had international connections even before he came into contact with the musicians of the Flemish chapel of Philip the Fair. Anchieta’s œuvre includes three Mass and two Magnificat settings, four Passions, fourteen or so motets (some are of doubtful attribution) and four pieces set to vernacular texts (in Castilian).
Capilla Peñaflorida presents here the premiere recording of Juan de Anchieta’s Missa de Nostra Dona. This work is found in only one source: the early sixteenth-century Cancionero Musical de Barcelona, MS 454, Biblioteca de Catalunya, Barcelona, hereafter referred to as Barcelona M. 454. The Missa de Nostra Dona is unusual: it includes polyphonic settings not only of the Ordinary – Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei – as we expect, but also of the Proper – Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion – of the Mass for the feasts of the Virgin Mary. The absence of the Credo does not mean that the Ordinary is incomplete: the Creed was only recited on Sundays and certain feast days. The movements of the Misa de Nostra Dona appear in the following liturgical order: Introit (Salve Sancta parens), Kyrie (with the trope Rex virginum), Gloria (with the trope Spiritus et alme), Gradual (Benedicta et venerabilis, with the versicle Virgo Dei genitrix), Alleluia (Dulcis Mater), Offertory (Felix namque est), Sanctus (with the trope Pater per omnia), Agnus Dei, and Communion (Beata viscera). This recording of Juan de Anchieta’s Misa de Nostra Dona also includes the corresponding plainchant sections (e;g. the Kyrie Rex virginum). The director of Capilla Peñaflorida, Josep Cabré, took them from a choirbook now preserved in Barcelona Cathedral.
The Missa de Nostra Dona poses an interesting problem of transmission, since some of its movements appear in Tarazona, Cathedral music archive, MS 2/3 (hereafter referred to as Tarazona MS 2/3)and in the Segoviamanuscript, mentioned above. The Kyrie and the Gloria are included in Tarazona MS 2/3 as part of a Mass, attributed to Anchieta and including a Credo, but with the Sanctus and Agnus Dei written by the Portuguese composer Pedro de Escobar (b. Porto, 1465; d Évora, after 1535). This suggests either that the copyist of Tarazona MS 2/3 gathered together the ordinary movements that had been dispersed, or else that Anchieta composed this work in collaboration with Escobar (indeed, both musicians were working at that time in the chapels of the Catholic Monarchs). This Mass setting by Anchieta-Escobar, known as Missa Rex virginum, has already been recorded by Capilla Peñaflorida (CD K617178 / HM90). The Segovia manuscript includes only the Gloria and the Credo of this Mass, but curiously not in the same order. In the complete works of Anchieta (Opera Omnia, ed. Samuel Rubio. Zarautz, 1980) the Kyrie, Gloria and Credo appear in the same order as in Tarazona MS 2/3, while the Introit Salve sancta parens found in Barcelona M. 454 is presented separately, as being of doubtful attribution. Nevertheless the Missa de Nostra Dona as it appears in Barcelona M. 454 is clearly an entity, and furthermore in the manuscript it was copied as the third of four polyphonic Masses, the other three being by Antoine Brumel (Missa Sine nomine), Johannes Ockeghem (Missa Au travail suis) and Antoine Busnoys (Missa L´homme armé).
The Salve by Anchieta is listed in the index of Barcelona M. 454 immediately after the Missa de Nostra Dona, although it does not appear in that position in the manuscript. The copyist who compiled the index must have included it at that point to show that the Mass and the Salve go together: Masses dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and notably those performed between Whitsun and Advent, traditionally end with a Salve. The inclusion in this recording of Anchieta’s Salve at the end of the Missa de Nostra Dona from Barcelona M. 454 is therefore perfectly justified. This version is identical to the one found in Barcelona M. 681 and Tarazona MS 2/3, but not quite the same as the one preserved in MS 5-5-20 of the Biblioteca capitular y Colombina at the Cathedral of Seville. The presence of Anchieta’s Salve in several manuscripts stretching over a long period of time suggests that it enjoyed popularity in the musical chapels of Spain in the sixteenth century. In the alternatim procedure typical of that period the odd verses are sung in chant, while the even ones present Anchieta’s polyphony.
To complete this recording, Capilla Peñaflorida performs the four extant works by Juan de Anchieta set to vernacular texts (Cancionero Musical de Palacio, Madrid, Real Biblioteca, II-1335); three of them are presented here as instrumental pieces. Two of the four, Con amores, mi madre and Dos ánades, madre, are written in a very uncommon quintuple time. Con amores, mi madre (4 vv.) is a villancico with a very simple structure: the bass moves parallel to the soprano at an interval of a tenth and the first three bars of the refrain are repeated in the stanzas. However, the shifting accents arising from the frequent syncopations and the irregular quintuple time lead to quite elaborate rhythms, possibly intended to evoke the intimate expressions of deep emotion of the peasant girl who pours out her heart to her mother in this poem. As J. Romeu Figueras points out, Anchieta probably borrowed the tune of Dos ánades, madre from the folk song Tres ánades, madre, although his title has two ducks (ánades) instead of three. We learn from Covarrubias, in his Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española of 1611, that the expression ‘cantando Tres ánades, madre’ was used at that time to imply blitheness and nonchalance; a person walking along singing Tres ánades appeared not to have a care in the world. It is employed, for instance, by Mateo Alemán in Guzmán de Alfarache (1599), Cervantes in La ilustre fregona (1614), Quevedo in Cuento de cuentos (1626) and Calderón (1600-1681) in Con quien vengo, vengo. One would therefore expect the music of this song to be simple, light and carefree, but that is not so. Indeed, the irregular rhythm arising from the use of quintuple time makes it quite difficult to perform. Donzella, Madre de Dios (3 vv.) is a contemplation of the Passion, a prayer to the Virgin Mary asking her to guide believers and intercede for them. En memoria d’Alixandre (4 vv.) is a romance that was written for the occasion of the meeting between the Turkish ambassadors and the Catholic Monarchs in 1489, during the siege of Baza; the Grand Turk complained of the monarchs’ war against the Moors in Granada and threatened to persecute the Christians in the Holy Lands and destroy the holy shrines of Palestine, if it continued. It also refers to the popular belief that Isabella and Ferdinand were destined to re-conquer <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Jerusalem</place></city> and thus outshine the glorious achievements of Alexander the Great.
This recording by Capilla Peñaflorida enables us to approach the music of the Castilian court of Isabella the Catholic and her daughter Joanna through one of its most illustrious representatives, Juan de Anchieta. It is all the more welcome, since we rarely have the opportunity to hear the works of this fine composer.
Translation: Mary Pardoe
“MISSA DE NOSTRA DONA”
Juan de Anchieta, ca. 1462-1523
1. “Con amores la mi madre” (1)
2. Introitus: Salve Sancta Parens (2) Psalmus: Eructavit cor meum
3. Kyrie: Rex Virginum-Christe: Deus Patre-Kyrie: O Paraclite (2)
4. Gloria: Spiritus et alme (2)
5. Graduale: Benedicta et venerabilis (2) V.: Virgo Dei genitrix (2)
6. Alleluia: V.: Dulcis mater (2)
7. “Donsella madre de Dios” (1)
8. “En memoria d'Alixandre” (1) (3)
9. Offertorium: Felix namque es (2)
10. Sanctus – Benedictus (2)
11. Agnus Dei (2)
12. Communio: Beata viscera (2)
13. “Dos ánades madre” (1)
14. Salve Regina (2)
(1) T. of Samuel Rubio
(2) T. of Emili Ros Fábregas
(3) D. of Carlos García Bernal
"La interpretación reparte por igua dosis de rigor musicológico y brillantez, lo que confirma el buen estado de la agrupación coral vasca. Disco imprescindible para conocer a un músico capital en la historia de la música española"
(Eduardo Torrico CD Compact enero 2009/Disco Recomendado)
"JOYAS DISCOGRAFICAS (...) La Capilla Peñaflorida prosigue su extraordinaria labor de investigación y presentación discográfica de la música antigua vasca y de otras cercanas a ella (...) La dirección de Josep Cabré, buen conocedor de la música del lejano pasado, aporta verosimilitud a la interpretación antigua. Este nuevo acercamiento a la obra religiosa del gran maestro vasco muestra claramente que "la música española de la época es elegante y sonora" (Bermudo, 1549)"
(Karmelo Errekatxo Periódico Bilbao noviembre 2008)
"El conjunto Capilla Peñaflorida (...) tiene una inigualable experiencia en la interpretación de obras polifónicas del renacimiento y del temprano barroco y no digamos de las de Juan de Anchieta en particular. Sus habituales colaboradores Ministriles de Marsias desarrollan al mismo nivel el papel tan característico de la interpretación de la música sacra en España (corneta, chirimías, bajón y sacabuche) como complemento a los cantantes. A este paso NB va a acabar metiendo más goles que Zarra. Goles en cultura musical, que tan necesarios son en un país pendiente casi solamente de los otros"
(José Luis Fernandez. Scherzo noviembre 2008)
"Muy brillante la lectura de la Capilla Peñaflorida, con el excepcional refuerzo de los Ministriles de Marsias. Bajo la dirección de Josep Cabré, salvan sin problema la alternancia del canto llano y el órgano o polifónico: aciertan en lo dulce y elevado, así como en lo exultante, lo grave y más emotivo de los textos litúrgicos. Unos justos comentarios de Emilio Ros-Fábregas, autor de la Transcripción de la Misa, completan un disco imprescindible hoy por hoy. No podemos dejar de recordar a dos grandes musicólogos que llevaron la obra de Anchieta a todas partes y ya nos dejaron: Samuel Rubio y Dionisio Preciado"
(Andrés Ruiz Tarzona DIVERDI)