Alonso Lobo

Alonso Lobo


• 1555 1617


During the entire Baroque period, Alonso Lobo's music was highly regarded in Portugal, Mexico, and Spain. Some of his work, such as a six-voice lamentations for Holy Saturday, earned a popularity that far outlasted his life. Lobo's known styles range from a typically Spanish (and beautiful) blending of the Palestrinian idiom with a lively, erudite profundity to the majestic polychoral manner of Tomás Luis de Victoria. Victoria, who has kept his reputation as the greatest Spanish composer of the time, considered Lobo his equal.

Lobo was born in the town of Osuna, Spain, to parents who were both natives of the place. By the age of 11, he had become a boy chorister at the Seville Cathedral. Professional interest led him later to study law at Osuna University, and on September 20, 1581, degree in hand, he obtained a post as chapter secretary. A man of many talents, Lobo was a canon within five years. Francisco Guerrero, the maestro di cappella at Seville Cathedral at the time, was now more than 60 years old and in need of help with his duties, so in 1591 Lobo was made his assistant. In the same year, Lobo took on full responsibilities for the choir while Guerrero was away. Lobo then went on to acquire a maestro di cappella post for himself at the Toledo Cathedral in 1593. Lobo returned to the Seville Cathedral in 1604, Guerrero having died in 1599, to take up the maestro di cappella post there. He seems to have stayed on at Seville until his death in 1617. Thankfully, a good number of Lobo's works survive in a collection published in 1602. The Liber primus missarum contains six masses and seven motets; well-used copies of the Liber primus survive in Portugal, Mexico, and Spain.