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De Araújo: Organ Music

De Araújo: Organ Music

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Pedro de Araújo (c. 1630-1707) is an important figure in Portuguese keyboard music of the late 17th century. His oeuvre consists of a total of 13 keyboard works, one of them with merely attributed authorship. These have come down to us through two manuscript sources in Portuguese collections: the Livro de obras de Orgaõ juntas pella coriosidade de Fr. Roque da Conceição, a source dated 1696, and the Livro de Obras de Órgão, a source compiled in the 17th and 18th centuries and originating in the Bouro Monastery (Braga). De Araújo’s output covers the genres that were in vogue in his day on the Iberian Peninsula (e.g. Batalha, Tento, Meio Registo, Fantasia) and which constituted the traditional repertoire of Iberian keyboard players in the service of ecclesiastical institutions.
The Batalha do 6º Tom and the [Susana] do 2º Tom hark back to the 16th century tradition of intabulating existing vocal works, the former based on the chanson ‘La Guerre’ by Clement Janequin, the latter on ‘Susane un jour’ by Orlando di Lasso, a famous vocal work throughout Europe and the target of many other composers’ intabulations.
The Phantasias, Obras and Tentos fall within the stylistic sphere of the tento (Spanish: tiento), an Iberian genre characterised by contrapuntal writing and multiple contrasting sections. In them De Araújo displays his mastery at weaving contrapuntal lines and varying the thematic material. The Consonâncias de 1º Tom corresponds stylistically to a tento de falsas (Sp.: tiento de falsas / It.: durezze e ligature), with the work developing in a succession of dissonances. The Passo solto de 7º Tom is a work entirely in triple meter with a succession of iambic rhythms reminiscent of the vilancico style.

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