Monday, October 26, 2009

Manuel de Zumaya(Sumaya) (1678-1755)

Manuel de Zumaya, a composer and organist, was considered a prodigy in Mexico City. The Mexico City Cathedral took care of Manuel after his father's death. He studied organ with José de Ydiáquez, and composition with Antonio de Salazar.
Zumaya wrote a play for the birth of Prince Luis in 1707 entitled Rodrigo. After it was staged, he became maestro de capilla. The Duke of Linares hired Zumaya to translate Italian librettos into Spanish. What stands out about Zumaya is the release of the opera Partenope. It was “the first opera anywhere in the Western hemisphere by an American-born composer”.
Zumaya was a very important composer of the 18th century. In his Latin motets, he wrote free imitative counterpoint. He often used augmented and diminished chords, as well as secondary dominants which often set him apart from other composers of the time.

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