Morales is generally regarded as the leading Spanish composer during the so-called Golden Age of Spain; his birth shortly after Columbus' voyage presumably prompted the choice of name he was given, and living in Spain during that time must have been truly an exciting experience.
The polyphonic style was brought to Spain by the previous generation of composers led by Francisco de Peñalosa, and the mystical intensity of Ibérian music reached its maximum influence in the following generation with Tomás Luis de Victoria's tenure at Rome. Morales occupies the intermediate historical position between these two, along with the contemporary keyboard music of Antonio de Cabezón; his music shows some influence of earlier polyphony as well as looking forward to functional harmony. Morales' fame is also increased by the fact that his polyphony was performed in Mexico during the early days of the Spanish domination there. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)