Bartomeu Cárceres

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Alias: Bartolomé Cárçeres


Born: fl. mid-16th century



Spanish composer. Little is known of his life except that in 1546 he was a member of the capilla of Ferdinand of Aragon, Duke of Calabria, whose residence was in Valencia. This ensemble was at that time considered one of the most important in Spain: in 1546 it had 19 singers, two organists, a harpist, three sackbut players and three or four shawm players. Cárceres was ‘pautador de los libros’ of the capilla, which possibly meant that he was responsible for drawing stave lines; his salary that year was 72 ducats, less than half that of the maestro de capilla Juan Cepa. In 1550 he was no longer listed as a member of the capilla.

It is possible that Cárceres was copyist of the greater part of the Cancionero de Gandía, associated with the Duke of Calabria's capilla, which contains all his works except the ensalada. These include two villancicos, Soleta y verge and Falalalanlera, which are sacred contrafacta of secular works which appear in the Cancionero de Uppsala. Both contrafacta, like Cárceres's other villancicos, are Christmas works, as are his Catalan version of Song of the Sibyl, Al jorn del judici, and the ensalada La Trulla, structurally one of the clearest works in the genre. Published by Mateo Flecha el Joven in Las Ensaladas de Flecha (1581), it consists of 10 songs, almost all for soloists and chorus, linked by polyphonic passages: the simplicity of its construction suggests that it may be earlier than those of Mateo Flecha el Viejo.

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