The missa pro defunctis at the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de la Santísima Virgen María a los Cielos: featuring the Misa de difuntos (1760) by Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella, maestro di capilla (1707-1769)

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Indiana University


The Misa de difuntos (1760) by Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella is a choral-orchestral setting of the Requiem Mass which offers a unique glimpse into the fusion of the European Classical and Spanish cathedral traditions. The Mass Ordinary movements are influenced by Mid-Eighteenth compositional style and technique, offering clear and straightforward harmonic progressions with largely homophonic choral interjections. The Mass Proper provides a suitable contrast with strong dissonances and ample use of chromaticism to evoke the textual themes of the Requiem. The Misa de difuntos (1760) was first discovered by me in Thomas Stanford’s Catálogo de los acervos musicales de las catedrales metropolitanas de México y Puebla de la Bibioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia y ostras colecciones menores. Although it appeared as a simple entry in the catalog, its immense size of five hundred seventy-six pages and description of a chamber orchestra and chorus caught my attention. The music that constitutes the basis of my edition survives in a single manuscript, located in the Archivo del Cabildo Catedral Metropolitano de México (ACCMM) in Mexico City. I have not been able to travel to Mexico City, but I was granted access to the microfilm which is held at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH). Passages of the work required some philological emendation. Fortunately, Ignacio Jerusalem’s score and accompanying part books are remarkably free of errors and are well preserved. The majority of editorial decisio ns made were as a result of composer shorthand or misinterpretations on the part of the copyists. This edition serves promote the music of Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella and the vast numbers of unknown works that exist in the Mexican cathedral archives.


Thesis (DM) – Indiana University, Music, 2020


Ignacio Jerusalem y Stella Requiem Score Choral Mexican Baroque Vice Regal Cathedral



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D. Mus.