Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Rees, Owen. “Reworking in the Motets of Francisco Guerrero.” Revista de Musicología 40 (January 2017): 17-56.

The motets of Francisco Guerrero, many of which were published in multiple editions with his direct involvement, present an unusual opportunity to study the composer’s revision process. The scope of Guerrero’s revisions ranges from minor changes to substantial recomposition, and these revisions reveal the variety—and inconsistency—of his approach to composition. Guerrero’s motets were issued in four major collections published in Seville in 1555 and Venice in 1570, 1589, and 1597. The most substantial revisions were done on motets first appearing in the 1555 collection. Many motets first appearing in 1570 also received some degree of reworking in later editions. Just one motet appearing in both the 1589 and 1597 collections was substantially altered, however. Some motets also appeared in publications outside of the major collections and display intermediary revisions. One of the most substantial reworkings was done to the five-voice setting of Beatus es, which between the 1555 and 1589 publications was shortened from 73 to 58 breves, eliminating repetition and improving the pacing of the text. Guerrero also revised his motets to reflect his evolving views on text setting, correcting “problems” with the placement of stressed and unstressed syllables. Revisions to a passage in Dum complerentur (1589, originally printed in 1555) demonstrate Guerrero’s aim of modernizing and improving counterpoint and sonority in addition to text setting. Besides the well-documented motets, Guerrero’s habit of revision is evident in other genres he composed in as well. Although a full account of how Guerrero’s revision practice compares to his contemporaries is out of reach, consideration of his work does inform investigations of composition, chronology, style, and print dissemination of motets.

Works: Francisco Guerrero: Beatus es et bene tibi erit, 1589 version (31-38), Ambulans Jesus, 1570 version (39-40, 42-43), Dum complerentur, 1589 version (40-41, 47-50), Trahe me post te, 1589 version (40-44), Usquequo Domine, 1570 version (42), Gloriose confessor Domini, 1570 version (44-46)

Sources: Francisco Guerrero: Beatus es et bene tibi erit, 1555 version (31-38), Ambulans Jesus, 1555 version (39-40, 42-43), Dum complerentur, 1555 version (40-41, 47-50), Trahe me post te, 1555 version (40-44), Usquequo Domine, 1566 version (42), Gloriose confessor Domini, 1555 version (44-46)

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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