Carlos Seixas

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Carlos Seixas
Carlos Seixas.jpg
Born 11 June 1704
Coimbra, Portugal
Died 25 August 1742 (1742-08-26) (aged 38)
Lisbon, Portugal
Nationality Portuguese
Occupation Composer

José António Carlos de Seixas (June 11, 1704 – August 25, 1742) was a pre-eminent Portuguese composer of the 18th century. An accomplished virtuoso of both the organ and the harpsichord, Seixas succeeded his father as the organist for Coimbra Cathedral at the age of fourteen. In 1720, he departed for the capital, Lisbon, where he was to serve as the organist for the royal chapel, one of the highest offices for a musician in Portugal, a position which earned him a knighthood. Much of Seixas’ music rests in an ambiguous transitional period from the learned style of the 17th century to the galant style of the 18th century.[1]

Life[edit]

Seixas was born in Coimbra to Francisco Vaz and Marcelina Nunes. From a young age, he was surrounded by musical activity; his father served as the cathedral organist, and the flurry of musical activity in the local monastery of Santa Cruz had an equally important role in his musical training. In 1718, a few days before his father's death, Seixas succeeded his father as cathedral organist. Two years after, in 1720, he moved to Lisbon to take up his new position in the court of John V of Portugal as court organist and harpsichordist.[2] Citing his elegance and agility on the keyboard, he was a favorite teacher of many noble families, including the family of Luís Xavier Furtado de Mendonça, the Viscount of Barbacena, where he gave harpsichord lessons to the Viscount's wife and daughters in exchange for artistic patronage.[3] In Lisbon, Seixas met Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti, who was working in Portugal from 1719 to 1728 as appointed director of the court cathedral. In an account by José Mazza in his Diccionario biographico de Musicos portugueses e noticia das suas composições of 1780, the king's brother, Dom António, arranged for Scarlatti to give Seixas harpsichord lessons. Scarlatti, immediately recognizing Seixas' talent, replied, "You can give me lessons."[4] In 1731 he was married at age twenty-eight to D. Maria Joana Tomásia da Silva, with whom he had two sons and three daughters. He was knighted in 1738 by the king, inducted into the Order of Christ. Four years later, in 1742, he died of a rheumatic fever, and was buried in the Santa Maria Basilica in Lisbon.[5]

Works[edit]

Seixas' keyboard works were written for a variety of instruments, including the organ, harpsichord, and the clavichord. Stylistically speaking, however, his sonatas showcase a range of musical styles: some are exemplary of a Baroque toccata; some are firmly in the galant style; some are clearly influenced by the German Empfindsamer Stil (literally 'sensitive style'). Despite rarely, if ever, traveling outside of Lisbon, his work also includes various geographical styles, such as the German Mannheim school, the French minuet, and the Italian style as composed by Scarlatti, his colleague and contemporary.[6] Santiago Kastner, Seixas' biographer and editor of his pieces, describes Seixas' works as "unoccupied" with a particular form, and given over to frequent improvisation.[7] Much of his work was destroyed in the earthquake that devastated Lisbon in 1755. Only three orchestral pieces and around one hundred keyboard sonatas out of over an alleged seven hundred survived, plus a handful of choral works for liturgical use (much more conservative than what one would expect from his instrumental music).

Macario Santiago Kastner published collections of the sonatas in Portugaliae Musica.

Selected recordings[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Allison, Brian J. "Carlos Seixas: The Development of the Keyboard Sonata in Eighteenth-Century Portugal. A Lecture Recital Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Samuel Barber, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Cesar Franck, Sergei Prokofieff, and Alexander Scriabin." Doctoral dissertation, North Texas State University, August 1982.
  • d’Alvarenga, Joao Pedro. “Some Preliminaries in Approaching Carlos Seixas’ Keyboard Sonatas.” Ad Parnassum: A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music 7, no. 13 (2009): 95-128. Academia.edu (accessed March 18, 2016).
  • Alvarenga, João Pedro (1995), Carlos Seixas: 12 Sonatas, Lisboa, Musicoteca.
  • Bernardes, J. M. R. e Bernardes, I. R. S. (2003), Uma Discografia de Cds da Composição Musical em Portugal: Do Século XIII aos Nossos Dias, INCM, pp. 222-234. [Contém 45 referências discográficas].
  • Cruz, Maria Antonieta de Lima (1943), Carlos de Seixas, Lisboa, Parceria António Maria Pereira.
  • Heimes, Klaus F. "Seixas, (José António) Carlos de". In Macy, Laura. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  (subscription required)
  • Kastner, Macário Santiago (1935), Cravistas Portugueses, Mainz, B. Schott’s Söhne, volume I.
  • Kastner, Macário Santiago (1950), Cravistas Portugueses, Mainz, B. Schott’s Söhne, volume II.
  • Kastner, Macario Santiago (1947), Carlos de Seixas. Coimbra, Coimbra Editora.
  • Kastner, Macario Santiago (ed.), (1965), Carlos Seixas: 80 Sonatas para Instrumentos de Tecla (2 vols.). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, (2.ª ed. 1992).
  • Kastner, Macario Santiago e João Valeriano (ed.), (1985) Carlos Seixas: 25 Sonatas para Instrumentos de Tecla. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
  • Kastner, Macario Santiago (1988), "Carlos Seixas: Sus inquietudes entre lo barroco y lo prerromántico", Barcelona, Anuário Musical, CSIC, n.º 43, pp. 163–187.
  • Machado, Diogo Barbosa (1965-1967), Biblioteca Lusitana, 4 volumes, Coimbra, Atlântida Editora.
  • Mazza, José (1944-1945), Dicionário Biográfico de Músicos Portugueses, ed. e notas de José Augusto Alegria, Ocidente, Lisboa, Tipografia da Editorial Império.
  • Nery, Rui Vieira (1984), A Música no Ciclo da Bibliotheca Lusitana, Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
  • Pedrosa Cardoso, José Maria (Coord.), (2004), Carlos Seixas, de Coimbra, Coimbra, Imprensa da Universidade.
  • Ribeiro, Mário de Sampaio (1939), José António Carlos de Seixas, Coimbra, Coimbra Editora, Separata de "Biblos", Volume 14.
  • Sandu, Constantin. "NOTES FOR A HISTORY OF PORTUGUESE PIANO MUSIC." Bulletin Of The Transilvania University Of Brasov, Series VIII: Art & Sport 3, no. 52 (January 2010): 29-36. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 19, 2016).
  • SANDU, C., and D. C. IBĂNESCU. "SEIXAS AND SOLER, DEFINING FIGURES OF THE PORTUGUESE AND SPANISH BAROQUE MUSIC." Bulletin Of The Transilvania University Of Brasov, Series VIII: Performing Arts 6, no. 1 (January 2013): 59-64. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 21, 2016).
  • Thompson, Wendy, and Lalage Cochrane. "Seixas, (José António) Carlos de." In The Oxford Companion to Music. : Oxford University Press, http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199579037.001.0001/acref-9780199579037-e-6069.
  • Vasconcelos, Joaquim de (1870), Os Músicos Portuguezes: Biografia, Bibliografia, 2 volumes, Porto, Imprensa Portugueza.
  • Vasconcellos, Jorge Croner de e Fernandes, Armando José (1975), Carlos Seixas: Tocatas e Minuetes, Lisboa, Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa.
  • Vieira, Ernesto (2007/1900), Diccionario Biographico de Musicos Portuguezes, Lisboa, Lambertini, Edição Facsimilada de Arquimedes Livros.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heimes, Klaus F. "Seixas, (José António) Carlos de". In Macy, Laura. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ SANDU, C., and D. C. IBĂNESCU. "SEIXAS AND SOLER, DEFINING FIGURES OF THE PORTUGUESE AND SPANISH BAROQUE MUSIC." Bulletin Of The Transilvania University Of Brasov, Series VIII: Performing Arts 6, no. 1 (January 2013): 59-64. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 21, 2016).
  3. ^ d’Alvarenga, Joao Pedro. “Some Preliminaries in Approaching Carlos Seixas’ Keyboard Sonatas.” Ad Parnassum: A Journal of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Instrumental Music 7, no. 13 (2009): 95-128. Academia.edu (accessed March 18, 2016).
  4. ^ SANDU, C., and D. C. IBĂNESCU. "SEIXAS AND SOLER, DEFINING FIGURES OF THE PORTUGUESE AND SPANISH BAROQUE MUSIC." Bulletin Of The Transilvania University Of Brasov, Series VIII: Performing Arts 6, no. 1 (January 2013): 59-64. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 21, 2016).
  5. ^ Allison, Brian J. "Carlos Seixas: The Development of the Keyboard Sonata in Eighteenth-Century Portugal. A Lecture Recital Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Samuel Barber, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Cesar Franck, Sergei Prokofieff, and Alexander Scriabin." Doctoral dissertation, North Texas State University, August 1982.
  6. ^ Heimes, Klaus F. "Seixas, (José António) Carlos de". In Macy, Laura. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ Allison, Brian J. "Carlos Seixas: The Development of the Keyboard Sonata in Eighteenth-Century Portugal. A Lecture Recital Together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Samuel Barber, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Cesar Franck, Sergei Prokofieff, and Alexander Scriabin." Doctoral dissertation, North Texas State University, August 1982.

External links[edit]