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Alfonso X "El Sabio"

Alfonso X

(1221 - 1284)

Alfonso X, born on November 23, 1221, in Toledo, Spain was a monarch who ruled as the King of Galicia, Castile and León from 1252 until his death. He treasured learning, writing extensively on many subjects, especially astronomy. But his primary legacy to the world of music is that he actively commissioned or co-authored numerous works of music during his reign, including the Cantigas d'escarnio e maldicer, and the Libro de los juegos ("Book of Games").

His most important contribution is a collection of 420 poems written in Galician-Portuguese with musical notation, known as the Cantigas de Santa María ("Songs to the Virgin Mary"), of which some are probably of his own composition. He died in Seville on April 4, 1284.

Recommended Recordings

Cantigas de Santa María

Opus 111 OPS30-225
Cantigas de Santa María/Opus 111 OPS30-225
Ensemble Micrologus
Cantigas de Santa María/Naxos 8.553133
Ensemble Unicorn
Cantigas de Santa María/Naïve - Astree E9940
Jordi Savall/Hespèrion XX, La Capella Reial de Catalunya