JOSÉ DE BAQUEDANO
José was born in Puente la Reina (Navarra) and was christened on the 20th of March in 1642, which makes us deduce that he had been born on the same day or a few days before. In his hometown he was a disciple of Simón Huarte Arrizabalaga.
After that, there is no sign of him until 1663, when he is found in the Basque provinces looking for a post as a singer. It is stated, thorough a contemporary witness, that meanwhile, he had been “a grand treble singer, magnificent and skillful”.
Then he went to Madrid -for the moment we don't know when- and there he studied composition with Matías Ruiz, one of the top Spanish composers in that period.
In 1678 he's found as a chapel master at the convent of the most Holy Trinity and of the Captives in Madrid and in 1680, also as a chapel master, apparently a temporary one, at the Encarnación monastery in Madrid.
The same year, 1680, he was welcome as the chapel master at the Cathedral of Santiago, although he couldn't take up his post until 10th of May in 1681 because he had problems to get permission to live outside the convents since he was a religious man (a calced Trinitarian).
He remained a chapel master in Santiago for the rest of his life, although on the 4th of February in 1710, the Chapter “considering so many years in the post and how well he had served this holy church” decided to grant him retirement keeping half his salary.
He died in Santiago on the 17th of February, 1711.
HIS MUSICAL STYLE
Baquedano can be lawfully considered the top representative of the Spanish musical Baroque just before the Italian and Italian style influences started to be self-evident.
His melody is still purely Hispanic. And he can be truthfully considered the starter of bel canto in Spain since in no previous composer can we find this type of melody; besides, he has got some works that, apart from the main aim of composition and aesthetic expression, are also meant to let the singer shine. But Baquedano’s bel canto is purely Spanish, completely different from the one other Spanish composers produced from about 1700 onwards, when a clear Italian influence is noticed. Baquedano, on the contrary, being the first one to create great bel canto melodies, uses a completely Hispanic type of bel canto.
He's also a top representative of polychoral music, also in the best Baroque tradition, with splendid work for two or three choirs, each with its own accompaniment, which were set at different places of the cathedral in order to get a splendid effect of “natural stereophony”. He has even got one, as it has been said, with 16 voices for five choirs, which is widely higher than the usual practice at that period.
As for the use of instruments, even though he usually follows the Spanish tradition of considering instruments as groups of “choirs”, just one more vocal part, he yet starts a new era with the “instrumental” use of instruments, according to the idiosyncrasy of each of them.
The same, but in a degree hardly known in Spain then, must be said about the continuous accompaniment, in which (while generally conforming to the usual practice in Spain at the time) numerous cases anticipate the future and even make the instruments start a dialogue with the voices. Examples such as “Por dónde, di” are a clear sign of Baquedano’s innovating tendency.
And, of course, his trio sonata sets him in an extraordinary position, since it is the only one known in Spain, with such specific features, so different from the Italian forms then, which even poses the question of possible models that Baquedano had known to get some inspiration for his sonata.
Almost all of his known compositions are found at the Cathedral of Santiago:
4 masses, plus one for the deceased.
1 nunc dimittis.
7 Holy Week lamentations.
19 motets and several similar pieces.
46 works in Spanish and a trio sonata.
His last works whose date is clearly stated belong to 1708, since from then on, his activities were significantly reduced because of his elderly age and his health problems. The oldest one seems to be from 1671, but it is only one and that date appears to be dubious; however, there’s a block of several compositions belonging to 1674.
These works are purely Baroque, from magnificent pure bel canto solo works to great polychoral works with 12 voices in three choirs and even one with 16 voices in 5 choirs.
This magnificent legacy, obviously a small part, probably the minimum one of the works composed for the holy service at the Cathedral of Santiago and the churches in Madrid means, however reduced it could be, a really valuable testimony of Spanish music at the end of the XVIIth century and the beginning of the XVIIIth century.
“Oíd montes el estruendo”
Canta al Apóstol (“Sol de España”) aclamado por multitud de voces, por el sol, los vientos, montes, aires, es decir un “estruendo” cósmico…
Oíd montes el estruendo.
Viva el sol que en este misterio luce, brilla, enciende, alumbra. Lindo sol, hermoso, bello. Oíd el estruendo.
Pues en coros alegres entonemos al Sol de Santiago:
mares, montes, aires, vientos; y uniendo primores, el estruendo publiquen a los orbes, que en este hemisferio a un sol luminoso celebra el afecto, el gozo saluda, y en cada corazón le erige un templo.
Coplas: Ya del sol más luciente, purísimos reflejos a España restituyen los esplendores de su grande imperio.
La salva cantemos al más claro Febo: montes, mares, tierra, cielos, pues con luz brilladora de la mejor edad los siglos dorados.
HIMNO AL APÓSTOL SANTIAGO
Al Apóstol más excelso,
rayo de aquellas esferas,
el son donde habitan
la luna y estrellas,
las luces más puras
que rayan el día,
lucidos sus astros
Lidien festivas luces y nieblas
Lidien festivas luces y tinieblas.
Suene el aplauso,
suene en vez de banderas
Ah de la cumbre del sol
Ah de la eminente esfera
Ah de los campos del …
Contra las menguantes lunas
hoy ardiente fuego llama,
un sol campeón que en tendido
es rayo voraz que abrasa.
Es verdad y aún por eso rayo le llaman,
porque siempre a los moros tubo a raya.
En todo el orbe español
hoy Santiago se descuella,
tanto que de sol a sol
compite de estrella a estrella.
Es verdad porque hoy tanto campea
que en globos zafíreos los astros huella.
Un torbellino graniza
en las moriscas adargas,
pues tanto dorado escudo
lleva por punta de lanza.
Es verdad y aún por eso su gloria es tanta, cuando con los escudos también se adarga.
Tanto como gira el sol
hoy por todo el mundo vuela,
porque los más peregrinos
hoy vienen a Compostela.
Es verdad porque hoy ninguno queda
Que a nuestro Patrón ofrecer no venga.
Diestro caudillo y valiente
el campo enemigo explaya
pues a España abre el camino
y a los moros cierra España.
Es verdad y aun por eso cabo le aclaman,
Que por serlo él no hay otro
desde la caba.
Todo el español imperio
a nuestro apóstol venera,
algunos le traen pendiente
concha y les está de perlas.
Es verdad porque hoy veo la nobleza
solo conocida por su venera.
Vengan más huestes y moros
Santiago dice en campaña,
vengan más y más turbantes
que a más moros más ganancia.
Es verdad y aún por eso tanto le ensalzan,
que a quien gana ducados nada le falta.
Hoy todo el mundo a Santiago
Oro ofrece como tierra
tributo se le paga
por réditos de tutela.
En fin hoy aquí de todo hay feria
Menos de turbantes porque los destierra.