Robert Macneil
The Portal
July 2016

Alonso Lobo, the Spanish composer of the late Renaissance, was born in Osuna in the province of Seville in southern Spain in 1555. In 1591 he was appointed assistant to Francisco Guerrero in Seville Cathedral and later became maestro de capilla during Guerrero’s leave of absence. In 1593 Toledo Cathedral hired him as their maestro de capilla where he remained until 1604 when he returned to Seville where he died.

This CD from Hyperion is an excellent collection of some of Lobo’s works, beautifully sung by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral under the direction of Martin Baker. The first five tracks are from Lobo’s Mass based on Guerrero’s motet Maria Magdalene. The main section of the CD features Lobo’s Holy Week Lamentations, some of the finest music of Renaissance polyphony.

The album concludes with two of Lobo’s superb motets. Regina caeli, the Eastertide Marian antiphon, is a tribute to Francisco Guerrero, ending with a sequence of Alleluias. The final track is the wonderful six part motet O quam suavis est, Domine, the antiphon for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Each of the six voices can be clearly heard, particularly towards the end when each voice climbs gently through each of the other voices. This is a wonderful recording by Westminster Cathedral Choir and is one that you will listen and relax to over and over again.