Francisco de Peñalosa

(c. 1470-1528)

Spanish composer. From before 1497 until 1516 he held posts as a singer at the court of Aragon and maestro di capilla to various members of the royal family; in 1517 he became a Papal singer in Rome. Probably the teacher of Morales, he was highly regarded by his contemporaries and contributed ten songs, including a remarkable six part quodlibet to the Cancionero de Palacio. Peñalosa was among the first generation to bring the Franco-Flemish polyphonic style to Spain and the Iberian peninsula. Many of his works survive in Spanish sources. Peñalosa's style is based primarily on that of Josquin Des Prez, however one finds much tighter formal structures and highly polished gestures leading to an increased emotional expressivity. In this last sense, he represents an important beginning to the Spanish choral style to be exemplified a century later by Tomás Luis de la Victoria. His compositions are entirely sacred in designation, though the wide range of emotionality lends many a character which would later be considered more properly secular in nature.

IVL: The Iberian Masters