Marcos Portugal (1762-1830)
19th century sacred music editions
critical edition by António Jorge Marques
Publishers Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal, Coro de Câmara de Lisboa, Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética Musical, 2017 (Lisboa)
Languages Portuguese and English
Voices and Instrumentation Soloist voices, choir (SATB) and organ/basso continuo
Pages xl, 140 pp.
Dimensions 210 × 290 mm
Weight 700 g
PDF Work excerpt
Marcos Portugal's extensive sacred production (over 160 works) is mostly known in Portugal and Brazil; in mainland
Portugal some works (Missa Grande [c. 1782, P 01.09*], Te Deum [1802, P 04.08*] and
Matinas da Conceição [1802, P 03.05*]) remained in repertoire until early twentieth century and,
in Madeira, the Tantum ergo [P 04.04*] survived until the 1950s. In this context, it is remarkable
that four of Portugal’s sacred works were published in England and France during the nineteenth century. Their
critical editions are, for the first time in modern times, available to performers and musicologists:
1. Mass [P 01.17, V1*] (1783-4, published partially in 1822 by Vincent Novello
(1781-1861)); 2. Te Deum [P 04.08, V2*] (1802, partially edited by Novello in c. 1818
and 1822); 3. Tantum ergo [P 04.04, V1*] (published in Paris in 1864 by
Pierre-Louis-Philippe Dietsch (1808-1865)); and 4. O quam suavis [P 05.11, V1*]
(published in London by Richard Butler c. 1840; no copy of the publication was found).
Composed for the baptism of infante Miguel, which took place at the Palace of Queluz on 14 November 1802, the Te
Deum [P 04.08*] occupies a prominent place in the history of music of Portugal and Brazil and deserves a
more detailed explanation. The large number of versions (22) and copies (104) found in 37 collections widespread in
7 countries denounces its paradigmatic character and unusual geographical dissemination. It was a work designed to
enhance the elaborate multimedia spectacle (avant la lettre) of the exhibition of royal power, a style
Marcos Portugal developed throughout his life in Portugal and, from 1811, in Brazil. The work only ceased being
performed during the second decade of the twentieth century. The Novello edition of the duet Te ergo
quæsumus gave rise to two more Parisian editions: it was included in an anonymous ecclesiastical author's
publication to be used by the confraternities and parishes of the French capital (1837-9); twenty years later
(1857), the composer and chapel master of the Église de la Madeleine, Pierre-Louis-Philippe Dietsch, added the
voices of tenor and bass, adapted a new text (O salutaris Hostia), and included it in a publication
dedicated to the repertoire of the said church. It is, in all probability, the most international sacred work in
the history of music in Portugal and Brazil.
* Refers to the entries of the sacred oeuvre thematic catalogue: P = Portugal (António Jorge
Marques, A obra religiosa de Marcos António Portugal (1762-1830): catálogo temático, crítica de fontes e de texto,
proposta de cronologia, Lisboa, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal/Centro de Estudos de Sociologia e Estética
Musical, 2012, pp. 331-688).
The present publication includes an introductory essay as well as a critical
commentary for each if the four works.