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Flecha, Matheo(b Prades, nr Tarragona, c1530; d La Portella, nr Berga, 1604).Spanish composer, nephew of Matheo Flecha senjor (famous for his Ensaladas). In 1543 he entered the service of the Infantas MarĂ­a and Juana, the daughters of Charles V, as a chorister. After the marriage of MarĂ­a to Maximilian of Austria in 1548 he remained in the service of Juana, but left to become a Carmelite friar in 1552. In 1564 he was in Italy, and from there he went to the Austrian court where from 1568 he held the office of 'Chaplain to the Empress and Musician to the Imperial Majesty'. In 1579 Rudolph II conferred on him the abbacy of Tihany in Hungary in recognition of his services. After various journeys to Spain, some of them on official business, he retired in mid-1601 to the Benedictine monastery of San Pedro de Portella, near Berga, of which he was abbot until his death.Two copies survive of Il primo libro de madrigali (Venice, 1568; ed. M.C. GĂłmez, Madrid, 1985). There are 19 items in the collection; one is a Spanish villancico, and one was later transcribed for string quintet with the title 'HarmonĂ­a a 5' (A-Wgm 23573). His second vernacular publication (1581) corresponds to the famous compilation of Las ensaladas of his uncle and namesake, to which he added two ensaladas and a madrigal of his own (ed. in M.C. GĂłmez: F. Matheo Flecha: La feria y Las caĂąas, Madrid, 1987), an ensalada by CĂĄrceres, and one by ChacĂłn; the book survives incomplete. His last publication (1593) consisted of a book of poems linked by a 'short account of the life and death of the Most Christian Queen of France, DoĂąa Isabel of Austria', some 'Epitetos a la Virgen' and nine sonnets on religious subjects. His Divinarum completarum psalmi, lectio brevis et Salve regina, cum aliquibus motetis (Prague, 1581) does not seem to have survived complete, and his mass (1576) is lost.Flecha is one of the rare 16th-century Spanish composers who followed international trends in madrigal writing. His madrigals show a considerable mastery of contrapuntal technique in spite of a certain conservatism of style and a lack of dramatic tension; they were probably written in an Italian prison, to which he had been sentenced for debt, and the sounds he used are notable for their sobriety. His ensalada Las caĂąas is a four-part reworking of his uncle's ensalada of the same name; in La feria, an expansion of the anonymous ballad En la ciudad de Toledo, he used the alternation of contrasting passages typical of this genre.Grove dictionary of Music and Musicians