Juan del Encina – (July 12, 1468 – 1529 or 1530) was a composer, poet, and playwright,:535 often called the founder, along with Gil Vicente, of Spanish drama. His birth name was Juan de Fermoselle. He spelled his name Enzina, but this is not a significant difference; it is two spellings of the same sound, in a time when "correct spelling" as we know it barely existed.
He was born in 1468 near Salamanca, probably at Encina de San Silvestre, one of at least 7 known children of Juan de Fermoselle, a shoemaker, and his wife. He was of Jewishconverso descent. After leaving Salamanca University sometime in 1492 he became a member of the household of Don Fadrique de Toledo, the second Duke of Alba, although some sources believe that he did not work for the Duke of Alba until 1495. A plausible argument is that his first post was as a Corregidor in northern Spain.
Fermoselle was a Chaplain at the Salamanca Cathedral in the early 1490s. It was here that he changed his name from Juan de Fermoselle to Juan del Enzina, or Encina (meaning holm oak) during his stay as Chaplain. He was later forced to resign as Chaplain because he was not ordained.
In 1492 the poet entertained his patron with a dramatic piece, the Triunfo de la fama, written to commemorate the fall of Granada. In 1496 he published his Cancionero, a collection of dramatic and lyrical poems. He then applied for the cantor post at Salamanca Cathedral, but the position was divided among three singers, including his rival Lucas Fernandez.
While working for the Duke of Alba, Encina was the program director, along with Lucas Fernandez.:537 Here Encina wrote pastoral eclogues, the foundation of Spanish secular drama. Encina's plays are predominantly based on shepherds and unrequited love.:540
Encina was ambitious, looking to be promoted based on preferment, so around 1500 he relocated to Rome, where he apparently served in the musical establishments of several cardinals or noblemen. Encina was appointed to the Archdiaconate of Malaga Cathedral by Julius II in 1508.
In 1518 he resigned from position at Malaga for a simple benefice at Moron, and the following year he went to Jerusalem, where he sang his first mass. He also wrote about the events during his pilgrimage to Jerusalem in Tribagia o Via Sacra de Hierusalem. In 1509 he had held a lay canonry at Málaga; in 1519 he was appointed by Leon for the priorship of Leon Cathedral. His last job was recorded as being in Leon, where he is thought to have died towards the end of 1529.:438
His Cancionero is preceded by a prose treatise (Arte de trobar) on the condition of the poetic art in Spain. His fourteen dramatic pieces mark the transition from the purely ecclesiastical to the secular stage.:539 The Aucto del Repelón and the Égloga de Fileno dramatize the adventures of shepherds;:540 the latter, like Plácida y Vitoriano, is strongly influenced by the Celestina. The intrinsic interest of Encina's plays is slight, but they are important from the historical point of view, for the lay pieces form a new departure, and the devout eclogues prepare the way for the autos of the 17th century. Moreover, Encina's lyrical poems are remarkable for their intense sincerity and devout grace.
Even though his works were dedicated to royal families, he never served as a member of a royal chapel. And even though Encina worked in many Cathedrals and was ordained as a priest, no religious musical works are known to still exist. Most of his works were done by his mid-30s, some 60 or more songs attributed to Encina, and another 9 settings of texts on top of that, to which the music could also be added, but not for certain. Many of the surviving pieces are villancicos, of which he was a leading composer. The Spanish villancico is the equivalent of the Italian Frottola. There are three and four voice settings that offer a variety of styles depending on the kind of text, with very limited movements in the voices in preparation for the cadence points. To make the text heard clearly, Encina used varied and flexible rhythms that are patterned on the accents of the verse, and used simple yet strong harmonic progressions.
Encina held the priorship of Leon Cathedral from November 1523 until his final illness in December 1529. Juan del Encina's will was presented on January 14, 1530, so the exact date of his death is not known, but it is thought to be in late 1529 or early 1530. In his will he noted that he wanted to be buried beneath the choir of Salamanca Cathedral, and in 1534 his remains were taken to the Cathedral.:538
???? – [MAY]Mayrat. El Viaje del Agua. Grupo Odres. Saga WKPD-10/2035.
1960 – [ANG]Victoria de los Ángeles – Spanish Songs of the Renaissance. Victoria de los Ángeles. Ars Musicae de Barcelona. José Maria Lamaña. . Se puede encontrar en CD ensamblado con otras grabaciones en: Victoria de los Ángeles – Cantos de España. EMI Classics 7243 5 66 937 2 2 (4 CD).
1968 – [RES]Music from the Time of Christopher Columbus. Musica Reservata. Philips 432 821-2 PM.
1971 – [VAL]El Camino de Santiago. Cantos de peregrinación. Escolanía y Capilla Musical de la Abadía del Valle de los Caídos. Leoncio Diéguez. Laurentino Saenz de Buruaga. Cuarteto y Grupo de Instrumentos Antiguos Renacimiento. Ramón Perales de la Cal. EMI (Odeón) 7243 5 67051 2 8.
1973 – [MUN]Music from the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Early Music Consort of London. David Munrow.. Se puede encontrar en CD ensamblado con otras grabaciones en: Music for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain – Instrumemts of the Middle Ages & Renaissance. Testament SBT 1251 .
1974 – [BER]Old Spanish Songs. Spanish songs from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Teresa Berganza. Narciso Yepes. . Se puede encontrar en CD ensamblado con otras grabaciones en: Canciones españoles. Deutsche Grammophon 435 648-2.
1974 – [JOC]Antik Musik på Wik – Early Music at Wik. Joculatores Upsaliensis. . Se puede encontrar en CD ensamblado con otras grabaciones en: Antik Musik på Wik – Early Music at Wik. Bis CD 3.
1976 – [SPA]Weltliche Musik im Christlichen und Jüdischen Spanien (1450–1550). Hespèrion XX. Jordi Savall. Virgin Veritas Edition 61591 (2 CD).
1977 – [PAR]Ars Antiqua de Paris à la Sainte Chapelle. Ars Antiqua de Paris. Coda 9605-1.
1993 – [AKA]Amando e Desiando. Spanish and Italian music from the 16th century. Akantus. Alice Musik Produktion ALCD 010
1994 – [SEP]Sephardic Songs in the Hispano-Arabic tradition of medieval Spain. (Canciones Sefardies de la tradición hispanoárabe en la España medieval. Ballads of the Sephardic Jews). Sarband. Vladimir Ivanoff. Jaro 4206-2. Sonifolk 21 115. Dorian Recordings DOR-93190.
1995 – [CAN]Canciones, Romances, Sonetos. From Juan del Encina to Lope de Vega. La Colombina. Accent 95111.
2002 – [WIM]Misteris de Dolor. Cantos sacros de Catalunya y Polifonía instrumental española – s. XVI-XVII. Accentus Austria. Thomas Wimmer. Pneuma PN-410.
2002 – Hoy comamos y bebamos. Coro Justicia de Aragón. Susana Sarfson. Séptimo Cielo, Zaragoza.
2003 – [PAN]La Conquista de Granada – Isabel la Católica. Las Cortes europeas, los Cancioneros y Musica Andalusi Nazari. Música Antigua. Eduardo Paniagua. Pneuma PN-660.
2003 – [NOT]El Fuego. Musique polyphonique profane di Siècle d'Or. Música de la Corte. Eduardo Notrica. Voice of Lyrics VOL BL 703
2004 – [CAP]Isabel I, Reina de Castilla. Luces y Sombras en el tiempo de la primera gran Reina del Renacimiento 1451–1504. La Capella Reial de Catalunya & Hespèrion XXI. Jordi Savall. Alia Vox AV 9838 (CD). Alia Vox AVSA 9838 (SACD-H).
2004 – [CDM]Cancionero de Palacio. Capella de Ministrers. Carles Magraner. Licanus CDM 0409.
2005 – [MAP]Música cortesana en la Europa de Juana I de Castilla 1479–1555. Las Cortes europeas y los Cancioneros. Musica Antigua. Eduardo Paniagua. Pneuma PN-710.
2005 – [ROS]In Vino. Wine in music from the 15th and 16th Centuries. La Rossignol. Tactus 400004.
2006 – [REI]Christophorus Columbus. Paraísos Perdidos. Hespèrion XXI. La Capella Reial de Catalunya. Jordi Savall. Alia Vox AVSA 9850 A+B (2 SACD-H).
2006 – [BOR]Borgia. Música religiosa en torno al papa Alejandro VI (1492–1503). Capella de Ministrers. Carles Magraner. Licanus CDM 0616.
2006 – [CIB]La Spagna. Felipe I El Hermoso. Mecenas de la música europea. Camerata Iberia. Juan Carlos de Mulder. Open Music BS 059 CD
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