Filipe de Magalhães

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Alias: Filipe de Magalhaes


Born: c.1571 or c.1563, Azeitão

Died: 17 December 1652, Lisbon


Portuguese composer Filipe de Magalhães was born in Azeitão (near Évora) c1571 or in 1563 (as stated by J. A. Alegria) and died in Lisbon 17 December 1652. He was ordained priest in 15 June 1585. At Évora Cathedral, he seemed to be Manuel Mendes’s favourite student at the cloister school. He appears as the fourth best paid singer of the Cathedral in a 1590 list.

After the death of the Évora’s Bishop D. Teotónio de Bragança, who had been his patron, Magalhães joined the choir of the Royal Chapel at Lisbon. There he also conducts the choir of the Capela da Misericórdia. In 1605 Manuel Mendes trusts Magalhães all his music, probably hoping that his favourite pupil would arrange its publication, but Magalhães was unable to do so. On 27 March 1623 he becomes mestre de capela of the Royal Chapel, a post he holds until his retirement on 15 March 1641, with an annual salary of 80,000 réis and five moios of wheat. At the time he’s mestre de capela at the Royal Chapel, he joins other two great names of Portuguese polyphony: Duarte Lobo and fr. Manuel Cardoso, all pupils of Mendes in Évora Cathedral.

He is one of the best composers of polyphony in Portugal, receiving great compliments by Pedro Thalésio (Arte de Música). The music that survives shows a great expressiveness, a great polyphonic smoothness with elegant vocal lines, and a complex rhythmic arrangement, with long note sections contrasting with very fast sections. His masses De Beata Vergine and O Soberana Lux and the motet Commissa Mea Pavesco stand up as Magalhães’s masterpieces.

View the Wikipedia article on Filipe de Magalhães.

List of choral works

Click here to search for this composer on CPDL


  • Cantus ecclesiasticus commendandi animas corporaque, 3–5vv (Lisbon, 1614;3/1691 as Cantum ecclesiasticum [incl. chants for the dead, several polyphonic resp])
  • Missarum liber cum antiphonis dominicalibus in principio, et motetto pro defunctis, 4–6vv (Lisbon, 1631)

ed. in PM, ser. A, xxvii (1975)

  • Cantica Beatissimae Virginis (Magnificat 6. toni, 4vv; Lisbon, 1636)
  • Domine, probasti me (Ps cxxxviii), 4vv

External links

Works by Filipe de Magalhães in the Petrucci Music Library (IMSLP)