Lobo, Alonso

In the shadow of the three great Spanish Renaissance composers Cristóbal de Morales, Francisco Guerrero and Tomas Luis de Victoria a number of other composers flourished in Spain during the 16th and 17th century. One of them is Alonso Lobo. Other names should be mentioned: Juan Navarro, Sebastian de Vivanco, Juan Esquivel.
Lobo was born in Osuna in 1555 In his youth he was a choirboy at the cathedral in Seville. Later on he became a canon at a church in Osuna, where he also received a degree at the university. In 1591 he was appointed as assistant to Francisco Guerrero who was the maestro de capilla in the Seville Cathedral. Two years later the Toledo Cathedral hired him as maestro. In 1604 he returned to Seville where he died in 1617.
Lobo’s music combines the smooth contrapuntal technique of Palestrina with the sombre intensity of De Victoria. Sometimes he used a polychoral technique - as in the Ave Maria à 8 -, a technique very common in Venice in the many lofts of St. Marks Basilica.
His work includes masses, motets, 3 Passion settings, Lamentations, psalms and hymns. If he wrote any secular music, it has not survived the ages. He was very influential in his time, not only in Spain, but in Portugal and Mexico as well.
One can clearly hear the influence of Lobo’s teacher Guerrero and of his friend De Victoria, especially in the masses.

Cees Wagemakers