Sebastián Durón

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Sebastián Durón (19 April (baptized) 1660 – 3 August 1716) [1] was a Spanish composer.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Sebastián Durón Picazo was, with Antonio de Literes, the greatest Spanish composer of stage music of his time. He was born in Brihuega, Guadalajara, Spain, and was taught by his brother Diego Durón, also a composer. Sebastian served as organist and choirmaster at various cathedrals (Seville, Cuenca, El Burgo de Osma, Plasencia) until in 1691 he was appointed master of the Royal Chapel of King Charles II in Madrid. He remained in this position until 1706, when he was suspended because of expressing support for Archduke Charles of Austria during the War of Spanish Succession, which ended with the victory of Bourbon King Philip V. Durón was forced into exile in France, from where he returned briefly in 1714 to serve as a musician to the Dukes of Osuna. In 1715 he returned permanently to Bayonne, France as chaplain to the exiled queen Mariana of Neuburg, the widow of Charles II, to whom he officiated in her scandalous remarriage to the son of a barrel-maker. He died in 1716 of tuberculosis at Cambo-les-Bains, Aquitaine, France.

Although Durón composed many sacred pieces, and these and his villancicos were taken to the New World,[3] his main influence was in the zarzuela.[4][5][6][7]

Father Benito Jerónimo Feijoo (1676–1764) criticised Durón, compared to Literes, for the worldliness of his compositions.

Stage works[edit]

  • 1696 Salir el amor del mundo (libretto by José de Cañizares). Zarzuela in 2 acts.
  • 1697 Muerte en amor es la ausencia (libretto by ).
  • c. 1698 Selva encantada de amor. Zarzuela in 2 acts.
  • 1700 La guerra de los gigantes. 1 act.
  • c. 1699 Apolo y Dafne (libretto by José Benavides). Zarzuela in 3 acts (act 2 contains the music of Navas).
  • 1710 El imposible mayor en amor, le vence amor (libretto by Francisco Bances Candamo and José de Cañizares). Comedy in 2 acts.
  • 1711 22 January Veneno es de amor la envidia (libretto by Antonio de Zamora, possibly with the participation of José Cañizares). Zarzuela in 2 acts: Madrid.
  • 1711 25 December Las nuevas armas de amor (libretto by José de Cañizares). Zarzuela in 2 acts: Madrid.

Selected discography[edit]

  • Tonadas (Songs), Raquel Andueza. Naxos.
  • selections on Barroco Español, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, by Al Ayre Español, cond. Eduardo Lopéz Banzo. DHM
  • La Guerra de los Gigantes—A Corte Musical, Rogério Concalves Pan Classics, 2013
  • Lágrimas, Amor - Arias for Soprano—Eva Juárez, A Corte Musical, Rogério Concalves Pan Classics, 2016


  1. ^ French National Library
  2. ^ Grove G. Sadie S. The New Grove dictionary of music and musicians. 1927 p119, 1980 p751, 1992 p1286
  3. ^ Stevenson R.M. Christmas music from baroque México 1974 Page 43
  4. ^ Hart, Gordon Quenton A study and edition of the zarzuela Las nuevas armas de amor 1974
  5. ^ Esses Maurice Dance and Instrumental Diferencias in Spain During the 17th and Early 18th Century 1993 p266
  6. ^ Wiberg Janice Lane "Opera Scenica, deduzida de la Guerra de los Jigantes" by Sebastian Duron University Microfilms International, Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg 1997
  7. ^ Grout Donald Jay A short history of opera 2003 p549


  • Hudson, Barton (1961), A Portuguese Source of Seventeenth-Century Iberian Organ Music, PhD, Indiana, Indiana University.
  • Siemens Hernández, Lothar (1967), Six Tientos: Andrés de Sola y Sebastián Durón, Paris, Éditions musicales de la Schola Cantorum, Orgue et Liturgie, n.º 74.
  • Verdú, Paulino Capdepón; Juan José Pastor (eds.), (2013), Sebastián Durón y la música de su época. Vigo: Editorial Académica del Hispanismo.

External links[edit]