Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439.html Tue, 21 May 2024 16:02:08 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb De Victoria - Ave Maria. Missa O Magnum Mysterium. Missa O Quam Gloriosum (1992) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/23536-de-victoria-ave-maria-missa-o-magnum-mysterium-missa-o-quam-gloriosum-1992.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/23536-de-victoria-ave-maria-missa-o-magnum-mysterium-missa-o-quam-gloriosum-1992.html De Victoria - Ave Maria. Missa O Magnum Mysterium. Missa O Quam Gloriosum (1992)

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1 	Ave Maria 	1:37

Missa O Magnum Mysterium
2 	Kyrie 	1:14
3 	Gloria 	3:13
4 	Credo 	5:10
5 	Sanctus 	4:33
6 	Agnus Dei 	4:02
7 	O Magnum Mysterium 	4:25

Missa O Quam Gloriosum 	
8 	Kyrie 	2:01
9 	Gloria 	4:04
10 	Credo 	5:43
11 	Sanctus 	4:57
12 	Agnus Dei 	4:00
13 	O Quam Gloriosum 	2:12
14 	Ardens Est Cor Meum 	5:00

15 	Lobo - Versa Est In Luctum 	5:15

Oxford Camerata
Jeremy Summerly - conductor

 

Those who have ever enjoyed the intimacy of church music at the Edington Summer Festival will recognise in these Naxos recordings some of the simple, unfrilly style of Renaissance singing to be found there. The Spanish disc features two of Victoria’s best-known early Masses (for the Feast of Circumcision and Feast of All Saints). Oxford Camerata’s young mixed-voice singers (under their director Jeremy Summerly) have spirit, attack and a measure of sensitivity, though lack as yet sufficient refinement of internal phrasing and balance. Despite an excellent start, the swift-moving final sections of the Credo in the simply conceived O magnum mysterium Mass grow harsh, and several passages come across as rather dull and four-square. Suspect vowels mar some textures in both Benedictus and Agnus. The O quam gloriosum Mass is fresher, and more consistent: the pared forces of the ‘Et incarnatus’ and the concluding Agnus are particularly attractive. The related motet gets rushed, but Alonso Lôbo’s Versa est in luctum confirms what this promising choir can encompass at its mature best. The recording marginally lacks bass. Two fine Requiems by Duarte Lôbo and Manuel Cardoso – Portuguese repertoire all too long neglected over here – draw on the Schola Cantorum’s resonant larger forces. Moving slowly in eight and six parts, they sound as regal and impressive as Tallis’s 40-part motet and large-scale Tye or Monteverdi. Works by all these composers appear elsewhere – on the Tallis Scholars’ Gimell label, or on Hyperion (with Westminster Cathedral). But the Naxos discs are an undoubted bargain, and their foray into early music is to be commended. ---Roderic Dunnett, classical-music.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Victoria Tomas Luis de Wed, 23 May 2018 13:01:05 +0000
De Victoria - Officium Defunctorum (Luis Morondo) [1964) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/17511-de-victoria-officium-defunctorum-luis-morondo-1964.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/17511-de-victoria-officium-defunctorum-luis-morondo-1964.html De Victoria - Officium Defunctorum (Luis Morondo) [1964)

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Requiem
Kyrie
Graduale
Offertorium
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Lux aeterna
Libera me

L'Agrupacion Coral de Camara de Pamplona
Luis Morondo – conductor

 

Tomás Luis de Victoria is definitely one of the most important composers in the music history of Spain. His masterpiece is the ‘Officium Defunctorum’, published in Madrid in 1605. In this requiem – written for the funeral of Maria of Austria, daughter of Emperor Charles V – the composer reached a mystical intensity of expression.

The [Requiem]'s dramatic potential is not overtly exploited but rather suggested, such is the concentrated, cut-glass quality of the singing at its best...Fine as this account of the Requiem undoubtedly is, the series of accompanying motets contains some of the disc's finest singing.

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Victoria Tomas Luis de Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:52:36 +0000
Tomás Luis de Victoria - La Fiesta de Pascua en Piazza Navona (2012) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/21474-tomas-luis-de-victoria-la-fiesta-de-pascua-en-piazza-navona-2012.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/21474-tomas-luis-de-victoria-la-fiesta-de-pascua-en-piazza-navona-2012.html Tomás Luis de Victoria - La Fiesta de Pascua en Piazza Navona (2012)

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Disc 1

    1. Iubilate Deo, omnis terra (Motette)
    2. Domine, quid multiplicati sunt (Salmo)
    3. Haec dies quam fecit Dominus (Antífona)
    4. Tantum ergo (Himno)
    5. Fanfaria
    6. Surrexit pastor bonus (Motette)
    7. Christo ver'huom' e Dio (Lauda)
    8. Ad caenam agni providi (Himno)
    9. Ardens est cor meum (Motette)
    10. Victimae paschali laudes
    11. Ego sum panis vivus (Motette)
    12. Iesu, nostra redemptio (Himno)
    13. Ricercata La mi re fa mi re sobre el cantus firmus \"Bassa castiglia\" o \"Il re di Spagna\"
    14. Expurgate vetus fermentum (Responsorio)
    15. Fanfarria

Disc 2

    1. Te Deum laudamus (Himno)
    2. Tiento de segundo tono por Gsolreut
    3. O sacrum convivium (Motette)
    4. Victimae paschali laudes (Secuencia)
    5. Si tus penas no pruebo (Villanesca)
    6. Christus resurgens (Antífona)
    7. In exitu (salmi passaggiati) (Salmo)
    8. Crucem sanctam subiit (Antífona)
    9. Anima mia, che pensi? (Lauda)
    10. Regina caeli (Antífona)

La Grande Chapelle
Albert Recanses - conductor

 

The confraternity of the Resurrection of S. Giacomo degli Spagnoli the Castilian national church in Rome was responsible, from 1579 onwards, for organizing the Easter celebrations in the Piazza Navona, one of the most spectacular public festivities during the time of Spanish supremacy in Italy. This double CD offers a never-before-undertaken evocation of the music that might have been heard in the church and around the square during this most important of Roman celebrations. It brings together an enormously varied selection of vocal and instrumental pieces by composers who, together with Victoria, were either involved in the organization of the festivities (such as Francisco Soto or Ruggiero Giovanelli) or whose music was preserved in the S. Giacomo degli Spagnoli archive. This superb recreation, offering us a new reading of Victoria s work, submerges us in the sonorities that he would have been familiar with in the latter part of his Roman period, from sumptuous polychoral works with Venetian influences to the simple laude spirituali associated with the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. In short, it is another first for La Grande Chapelle, establishing a context in which to place one of the greatest composers of the Spanish Renaissance. ---Editorial Reviews, amazon.com

 

In the later decades of the 16th century, the musicians of S. Giacomo degli Spagnoli, the Spanish national church in Rome, were charged with the task of pulling together the performing forces for the Easter celebration, the most important festival in the church year. It was a massive undertaking, with performances outdoors on the Piazza Navona as well as in the churches surrounding the square, involving numerous choirs, orchestras, soloists, organists, instrumental consorts, and brass ensembles, not to mention fireworks and cannons. For this two-disc set conductor Albert Recasens and the chamber orchestra and choir, La Grande Chapelle, have put together a collection of choral and instrumental works that would likely have been included in these Easter spectacles. It's a terrifically diverse group of pieces, including massive antiphonal works that bring the music of Giovanni Gabrieli to mind, a cappella works for men's, women's, and mixed choirs, brass fanfares, keyboard solos, and chamber pieces requiring small vocal and instrumental groups.

Tomás Luis de Victoria, whose music represented the pinnacle of the Spanish high Baroque, was active in Rome during the time of some of these festivals and almost certainly would have had a hand in their planning and execution. The album features several of his motets and hymns, which are very grand examples of genres that in general imply works of a modest scale. The music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the leading Italian composer of the late Renaissance, and Victoria's teacher, is also well-represented. The remaining composers range from the somewhat obscure to the very obscure, but these works, many of them recorded here for the first time, are consistently engaging, and taken all together the album's music is exceptionally lovely. La Grande Chapelle is deployed in various configurations ranging from large antiphonal groups to the most intimate vocal ensembles with one singer to a part. The singers perform with clear, chaste tone, warm blend, shapely phrasing, and obvious feeling for the stylistic conventions of late Renaissance polyphony. The instrumentalists, whether featured in ensembles or in an accompanimental role, play with sensitivity and energy, and are used in wonderfully colorful combinations.

What the modern listener misses in hearing this spatially oriented music in its original context is compensated for by being able to savor it in a clean acoustic environment rather than in the midst of the chaos depicted in a late 16th century engraving of the Easter celebration in the Piazza Navona that is included in the booklet. The exemplary performances on this creatively conceived album are highly recommended for fans of Renaissance polyphony. ---Stephen Eddins, AllMusic Review

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Victoria Tomas Luis de Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:26:07 +0000
Tomás Luis de Victoria - Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae Rome 1585 (2005) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/15886-tomas-luis-de-victoria-officium-hebdomadae-sanctae-rome-1585-2005.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/15886-tomas-luis-de-victoria-officium-hebdomadae-sanctae-rome-1585-2005.html Tomás Luis de Victoria - Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae Rome 1585 (2005)

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Disc: 1 Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, for 3-8 voices
Dominica in Ramis Palmarum.
1. Vexilla regis, more hispano (4 v.)
2. Antiphona: Hosanna filio David
3. Pueri Hebraeorum (4 v.)
4. Passio secundum Mattheum (4 v.)
5. Elevatio: O Domine Jesu Christe (6 v.)
Feria Quinta. In Coena Domini. Ad Matutinum.
6. In Primo Nocturno. Antiphona: Zelus domus t
7. In Primo Nocturno. Versiculum: Avertantur r
8. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio prima: Incipit la
9. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio secunda: Vau. Et
10. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio tertia: Jod. Manu
11. In Secondo Nocturno. Antiphona: Liberavit D
12. In Secondo Nocturno. Versiculum: Deus meus
13. In Secondo Nocturno. Quartum responsorium:
14. In Secondo Nocturno. Quintum responsorium:
15. In Secondo Nocturno. Sextum responsorium: U
16. In Tertio Nocturno. Antiphona: Dixi iniquis
17. Tertio Nocturno. Versiculum: Exsurge Dom
18. In Tertio Nocturno. Septimum responsorium:
19. In Tertio Nocturno. Octavum responsorium: U
20. In Tertio Nocturno. Nonum responsorium: Sen
21. Missa. Tantum ergo (Pange Lingua; 5 v.)

Disc: 2 Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, for 3-8 voices:
Feria Sexta. In Passione Domini. Ad Matutinum.
1. In Primo Nocturno. Antiphona: Astiterunt
2. In Primo Nocturno. Versiculum: Diviserunt
3. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio prima: Heth. Co
4. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio secunda: Lamed.
5. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio tertia: Aleph.
6. In Secondo Nocturno. Antiphona: Vim facie
7. In Secondo Nocturno. Versiculum: Insurrex
8. In Secondo Nocturno. Quartum responsorium
9. In Secondo Nocturno. Quintum responsorium
10. In Secondo Nocturno. Sextum responsorium:
11. In Tertio Nocturno. Antiphona: Ab insurge
12. In Tertio Nocturno. Versiculum: Locuti su
13. In Tertio Nocturno. Septimum responsorium
14. In Tertio Nocturno. Octavum responsorium:
15. In Tertio Nocturno. Nonum responsorium: C
16. Ad Laudes. Antiphona: Posuerunt super caput eius. Canti
17. Ad Solemni Actione Liturgica. Passio secundum Ioannem 
18. Ad Solemni Actione Liturgica. In Adoratione Crucis. Vere languores
19. Ad Solemni Actione Liturgica. In Adoratione Crucis. Improperia: Ec

Disc: 3 Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, for 3-8 voices:
Sabbato Sancto. Ad Matutinum.
1. In Primo Nocturno. Antiphona: In pace in idipsum
2. In Primo Nocturno. Versiculum: In pace in idipsum
3. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio prima: Heth. Misericordiae (4 v.)
4. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio secunda: Aleph. Quomodo obscurat
5. In Primo Nocturno. Lectio tertia: Incipit oratio (6 v.)
6. In Secondo Nocturno. Antiphona: Elevamini portae aeternali
7. In Secondo Nocturno. Versiculum: Tu autem Domini miserere
8. Secondo Nocturno. Quartum responsorium: Recessit pastor
9. In Secondo Nocturno. Quintum responsorium: O vos omnes (4
10. In Secondo Nocturno. Sextum responsorium: Ecce quomodo (4
11. In Tertio Nocturno. Antiphona: Deus adiuvat me
12. In Tertio Nocturno. Versiculum: In pace factus est locus e
13. In Tertio Nocturno. Septimum responsorium: Astiterunt rege
14. In Tertio Nocturno. Octavum responsorium: Aestimatus sum (
15. In Tertio Nocturno. Nonum responsorium: Sepulto Domino (4
16. Ad Laudes. Antiphona: O mors, ero mors tua. Psalmus 50: Miserere (4 v.)
17. Ad Laudes. Antiphona: Christus factus est pro nobis

Muriel Costa-Greenspon - Vocals
La Colombina 
Schola Antiqua 
Josep Cabre - Choir Director
Juan Carlos Asensio Palacios - Conductor

 

A well-worn analogy compares the music of the High Renaissance composer Palestrina to the graceful and balanced painting of Raphael; the music of his contemporary Tomas Luis de Victoria evokes the more intense brushwork of El Greco. Born in Avila in Castile, the same Spanish Counter-Reformation town as the mystic St. Teresa, Victoria spent the central 20 years of his career in Rome, studying for the priesthood at the Jesuit Collegio Germanico and serving the Roman musical establishment. The majority of his music (all on sacred texts) was published during this time. But he vivified the reserved and "classical" style of Willaert and Palestrina's church polyphony with his close attention to the local affect of his texts. Victoria's spirituality, at the same time highly orthodox and deeply passionate, bleeds through the pages of his Holy Week music. The rites for the High feast days between Palm Sunday and Easter, known as the Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, memorialize the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, and the events of His Passion and death. This same title appeared on one of the last volumes Victoria published in 1585 before returning permanently to Spain; its official dedication not to a worldly prince or pope, but rather directly to the Trinity may reflect its personal importance to him. The lavishly printed folio collection includes two settings of the Passion narratives, three sets of Lamentations of Jeremiah, three sets of Tenebrae Responsories, and miscellaneous other pieces (such as settings of two motets for Palm Sunday and the Vere languores for Good Friday). The Lamentations and the Responsories serve the special "Tenebrae" liturgies of Matins for the Triduum Sacrum -- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday -- night-time services involving ritual darkening of the church. Fifteen candles -- symbolizing Christ, the 12 Apostles, and the two Marys -- provide the lighting for these services, and all are extinguished one at a time as the liturgy progresses. The deep symbolism in the liturgical structure also prescribes three divisions ("Nocturnes"), each comprising in alternation three Psalms, three Lessons, and three Responsories, thus embedding a series of interlocking Trinitarian symbols in the very fabric of the liturgy. Victoria provides polyphonic music for the second and third Nocturne of each service, following the proper liturgical structure perfectly. The 18 motets, in three groups of [3+3], each follow the "Responsory" form of aBcB, while the third of each group adds a concluding repeat: aBcBaB. The composer calls attention to his structural fidelity by lightening the vocal texture each time in the "c" section (the Versicle). The middle Responsory of each trio, furthermore, invariably uses a higher group of voices. This utter regularity of structure does not, however, constrict the composer's florid imagination. He deploys all his compositional resources to enhance the pathos and dramatic effect of his settings. Different groups of voices may dialogue antiphonally, or otherwise paint the text (as in a cascade at "fons aquae" in "Recessit pater noster"); homophonic textures alternate with imitation (which may pictorialize the lamb "led to the slaughter" in "Eram quasi agnus," or the physical leading of Jesus to his trial in "Iesum tradidit"). And everywhere, Victoria's plangent use of chromatic alterations and surprising harmonic progressions (such as those which dominate the openings of "Tenebrae factae sunt" and "Caligaverunt") enrich the music with aural potency. The music and text of each piece must be considered carefully together; as in the painting of El Greco, the emotional affect of the image seen from a distance depends on the intense emotional energy of each brushstroke. --- Timothy Dickey, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Victoria Tomas Luis de Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:33:12 +0000
Tomas Luis de Victoria - Responsories for Tenebrae (1987) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/11980-tomas-luis-de-victoria-responsories-for-tenebrae.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/11980-tomas-luis-de-victoria-responsories-for-tenebrae.html Tomas Luis de Victoria - Responsories for Tenebrae (1987)

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1. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Amicus meus	3:05	
2. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Iudas mercator pessimus	2:28
3. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Unus ex discipulis meis	3:47
4. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Eram quasi agnus	3:16
5. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Una hora	2:50
6. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Seniores populi	4:30
7. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Tamquam ad latronem	3:33
8. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Tenebrae factae sunt	4:01	
9. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Animam meam dilectam	7:00	
10. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Tradiderunt me	2:43
11. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Iesum tradidit impius	3:01
12. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Caligaverunt oculi mei	5:43	
13. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Recessit pastor noster	3:02	
14. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: O vos omnes	2:48	
15. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Ecce quomodo moritur	4:53
16. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Astiterunt reges	2:07	
17. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Aestimatus sum	2:28	
18. Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories: Sepulto Domino	4:34

Westminster Cathedral Choir
David Hill - Master of Music

 

Following their Victoria Requiem (9/87), the Westminster Cathedral Choir have recorded that composer's Responsories for Tenebrae. Bruno Turner, in his excellent note, points out that, contrary to the impression created by these recent recordings, Victoria wrote plenty of joyful music, but I suspect that the intensely austere, lamenting quality of these Responsories is precisely what will attract the modern listener. Victoria worked for much of his life in Rome, where the Responsories were published in 1585, but his powerful and exquisitely balanced polyphony belongs firmly to the Spanish tradition in its profound sense of drama.

This inherent dramatic quality is brought out to perfection in these magnificent performances which, all too unusually in modern interpretations of renaissance polyphony, take the text—the narration and contemplation of the events leading up to the Crucifixion—as the springboard for the pacing and projection of the music. Although each of the 18 Responsories follows the same simple repetition scheme, the music is full of contrast, both in terms of vocal scoring and the constantly shifting textures. All these nuances are picked up by the Choir who, when in full cry, make a simply thrilling noise. The 'tingle factor' is also to the fore in the magical stillness of the opening of "Una hora" (track 3), or the high treble entry at the words "Si est dolor" (track 12), a good example of the blend of inspiration and control that characterizes this recording.

Master of Music David Hill (now at Winchester Cathedral) is to be congratulated for bringing together the discipline of the British choral tradition and an altogether more passionate, direct sound, particularly distinctive in the boys, but also the product of careful balancing of chords and a sustained singing style that allows the poly phonic strands to interweave with a natural tension. The Turner/Tryggvasson recording team has captured the atmospheric acoustic of Westminster Cathedral well, without compromising on clarity, and at over 75 minutes this has to be good CD value. Enthusiastically recommended to anyone interested in renaissance polyphony—and everyone else besides. ---Tess Knighton, gramophone.net

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Victoria Tomas Luis de Sun, 01 Apr 2012 20:03:59 +0000
Tomas Luis de Victoria – Requiem (David Hill) [1987] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/4132-tomas-luis-de-victoria-requiem.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/1439-victoria-de-tomas/4132-tomas-luis-de-victoria-requiem.html Tomas Luis de Victoria – Requiem (David Hill) [1987]

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1 [anonymous] - Credo quod Redemptor meus vivit 			3:05 	
2 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Taedet animam meam vitae meae 			3:23 	
3 [anonymous] - Ego sum resurrectio - Benedictus Dominus, Deus Israel 	5:15 	
4 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro Defunctis: Introitus 			6:52 	
5 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro Defunctis: Kyrie 			3:14 	
6 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro defunctis: Graduale 			3:04 	
7 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro Defunctis: Offertorium 			5:19 	
8 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro Defunctis: Sanctus 			3:25 	
9 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro Defunctis: Agnus Dei 			3:51 
10 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Missa pro Defunctis: Communio 			4:44 	
11 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Versa Est In Luctum 			3:32 
12 Tomás Luis de Victoria - Libera me, Domine, de morte aeterna 		9:55

Westminster Cathedral Choir
David Hill – Master of Music

 

Victoria’s Office of the Dead includes his second Requiem Mass, written for six-part choir. This music, often known simply as Victoria’s Requiem, has been regarded as some of his finest and one of the last great works in what we call the Renaissance polyphonic style. Its refined and dignified austerity is shot through with passionate conviction; it glows with extraordinary fervour within a musical and spiritual atmosphere of serenity and fitness for its liturgical purpose. But it does need some explaining.

In the last years of the twenty or so that he spent in Rome, the Spanish priest from Avila, Tomás Luis de Victoria, composed and published in 1583 a book of Masses including a Missa pro defunctis for four-part choir. This early Requiem was reprinted in 1592. By then Victoria was well established in Madrid as choirmaster and chaplain to the Dowager Empress Maria, Philip II’s sister and widow of Maximilian II, now in retirement at the Royal Convent of the Barefoot Nuns of St Clare. The Princess Margaret, Maria’s daughter, was professed with solemn vows in 1584 and she was one of the thirty-three cloistered nuns whose daily services, the Liturgy of Divine Office, were rendered musically by twelve singing priests and four boys (increased to six after 1600).

In 1603 the Empress died (on February 26) and was buried in the Convent cloister three days later. The services were probably simple. The great obsequies were performed on April 22 and 23. These took place at the Church of St Peter and St Paul (where Madrid Cathedral now stands). The Convent chapel was much too small for such a memorial service. Vespers of the Office of the Dead was sung; then, in the early hours, Matins of the Dead, which we used to call the Dirge (from the Latin, ‘Dirige, Domine …’ with which the First Nocturn begins). Then, after the chanting of Lauds, the Missa pro defunctis, the solemn High Mass of the Dead, was celebrated. The catafalque representing the Empress Maria in her coffin stood between the coro and the high altar. King Philip III was there in his mourning black and silver, his cousin Princess Margaret, the royal nun, all the dignitaries of church and state, crowded into a scene which may now make us think of an El Greco painting, all to witness that ancient Catholic way of death, the Requiem Mass.

For this occasion the composer Victoria wrote his second Requiem—or correctly, as he called it, The Office of the Dead. He wrote music for the Mass itself, a funeral motet additional to the strict liturgy, and one of the great Latin texts for the ceremony of Absolution which follows the Mass, and a Lesson that belongs to Matins.

Two years later Victoria published this music (Royal Press, Madrid, 1605) and it has since become revered as well as admired, for it seems to be somehow a Requiem for an age—the end of Spain’s Golden Century, the end of Renaissance music, the last work, indeed, of Victoria himself. At least he published no more.

It has been said that it was Victoria’s swan song, but in his dedication to Princess Margaret it is clear that Cygneam Cantionem refers to the Empress. Victoria could hardly have known in 1603 or 1605 that he was to die in 1611, aged sixty-three. The dedication at the front of the 1605 print clearly states that he, Victoria, composed this music for ‘the obsequies of your most revered mother’.

The Mass music, provided by Victoria with the proper plainsong intonations and verses in the manner of his time, is written for six-part choir with divided trebles, alto, divided tenors, and bass. The plainsong melodies are taken over into the polyphonic fabric in the second treble (except in the Offertory when the chant is in the alto). The first treble soars above and below the slow unfolding of the paraphrased plainsong, giving the whole texture a wonderful luminosity. The use of two tenor parts contributes to the lightness and clarity. Even the plainsong intonations and verses are clearly specified to be sung by the boy trebles. The six-voiced grandeur of sonority as Victoria builds his short Kyrie eleison is followed by the Christe with just the four upper voices in a passage so sad that it seems like ritualised weeping in music.

Having ended the Mass, Victoria continues with the motet Versa est in luctum and we assume it to have been sung as the clergy and dignitaries assembled round the catafalque (representing the Empress). The Absolution followed, and Victoria’s setting of the great Libera me, Domine concludes, with its Kyrie responses, the music he wrote for the solemn occasion. --- Bruno Turner, hyperion-records.co.uk

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Victoria Tomas Luis de Sat, 03 Apr 2010 14:27:29 +0000