Two Popular pieces by Luis Narvaez (Guardame las Vacas & Cancion del Emperador)
Publication's Style: Soft Cover
Level of Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Catalog Number: 74524
Luis de NarvŠez (fl. 1526Ė49) was a Spanish composer and vihuelist. Highly regarded during his lifetime, NarvŠez is known today for Los seys libros del delphŪn, a collection of polyphonic music for the vihuela which includes the earliest known variation sets. He is also notable for being the earliest composer for vihuela to adapt the contemporary Italian style of lute music.
The exact date or even year of NarvŠez's birth is unknown. He was born in Granada and the earliest surviving references to him indicate that as early as 1526 he was a member of the household of Francisco de los Cobos y Molina, a well-known and very successful patron of the arts who was the secretary of State and comendador for the kingdom of Castile under Charles V. NarvŠez lived in Valladolid with his patron until the latter's death in 1547. It was during this period that the composer published Los seys libros del delphŪn (Valladolid, 1538), a large collection of music.
By 1548 NarvŠez was employed as musician of the royal chapel, where he also taught music to choristers. His colleagues there included the famous keyboard composer Antonio de Cabezůn. NarvŠez and Cabezůn were both employed as musicians for Felipe, Regent of Spain (later Philip II of Spain), and accompanied him on his many journeys. The last reference to NarvŠez is from one such journey: during the winter of 1549 he resided in the Low Countries.
NarvŠez was very highly regarded during his lifetime, particularly for his vihuela playing; he was reported to be able to improvise four parts over another four at sight. His son Andrťs also became an accomplished vihuelist.