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Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla

born: c1590
died: 22 April 1664
country: Mexico

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla was born in or near Málaga probably in 1590, some five years after Franco’s death in Mexico. Trained in his home city, his first appointment as a maestro was at Jerez, his second was at Cádiz; then he is found as assistant at Puebla Cathedral in 1622. Seven years later he was appointed maestro and stayed until his death in 1664. His work was so appreciated by the authorities that a great deal of his music was ordered to be copied into a great choir book shortly before his death. This fine manuscript survives as Libro de coro XV at Puebla Cathedral. It shows him to be the most talented and confident of the composers of the colonial period in Central and South America. A great number of motets, antiphons, Psalms and Lamentations survive. He wrote short hymns and big Masses, a Passion and some dramatic funeral music. He wrote for double choir in many works in the text-driven harmonic chordal style that was fashionable in Spain for most of the seventeenth century, yet he adopted a thoroughly polyphonic ‘old’ style for some motets and in his Lamentations, albeit spiced with harmonic twists and dissonances very much of his own time.

from notes by Bruno Turner © 1990

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