Almost every great Iberian composer of the 16th century has at least one version of the Missa pro defunctis. These works are in the mood of a severe mysticism that dominated much of Spanish culture at the time as a result of the spiritual turmoil and the crisis of values in Europe during the Reformation. In its dramatic texts, the Requiem covers all the themes that dominated man's fears at the time: the rapid passage of time, the transience of nature and earthly life, the contrast between mortality and eternity, the soul's guilt for God, fear of the Last Judgement and man's plea for divine grace. • The five-part Missa pro defunctis by Cristóbal de Morales was printed in Rome in 1544, but its exact date of origin remains unknown. It was probably composed in Rome between 1535 and 1545, when Morales was a singer in the papal chapel. This Requiem is a work of splendid dimensions and yet of austere, serene and inward-looking nature, full of restraint and deep emotion. The Officium defunctorium is kept in the music archives of the Cathedral in Puebla, Mexico. It was sung a few years after the composer's death in Mexico City during the solemn funeral rites marking the death of Charles V in November 1559.
Guerrero, Francisco: Sacrae Cantiones
Morales, C: Missa Pro Defunctis, A 5
Morales, C: Officium Defunctorum
Victoria: Cantica Beatae Virginis