Cristóbal de Morales was born in Seville shortly before 1500 and received his early musical training at the Cathedral of this city with such great masters as Castilleja and probably Peñalosa. The young Sevillian scholar began his career as a choirmaster, a position he would hold at the Plasencia cathedral as soon as 1527. A few years later, in 1535, he moved to Roma where he became a musician of the Sistine Chapel, one of the most prestigious music positions of that time. He stayed there some 10 years during which he composed and had printed his most-known works. After this fruitful Roman stay (1535-1545), Morales retuned to Spain where he successively obtained the position of choirmaster at the Toledo Cathedral (1545-1547) and music master of the Duke of Arcos (1547), an aristocrat living near Seville. On 1551, he was appointed choirmaster in Malaga where he stayed until he died in 1553. His almost exclusively sacred music production includes more than 20 masses, often on liturgical cantus firmus, or on secular themes, like the famous song Mille regretz by Josquin. The motet, his favorite genre, often results from the complex elaboration of an imitative structure always at the service of the text. Finally, his Lamentations and above all his Magnificats has always been among his most admired works, in his own time as well as today.
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