Tomás Luis de Victoria

Biography

Born: 1548; Avila, Spain   Died: August 20, 1611; Madrid, Spain  
The dominating figure of sixteenth century Spanish music, Tomás Luis de Victoria was born in Avila. He was sent to Rome to study, possibly for a time under Palestrina during the latter's years at the Roman Seminary. In 1571 he succeeded Palestrina there as choirmaster, a post he also subsequently occupied at the Jesuit Order's German College. Later he became active as a priest, working at St. Girolamo della Carità. Following his return to Spain Read more in 1585, Victoria served the Empress Maria and her daughter as teacher, organist, and choirmaster until his death in 1611.

By the time Victoria arrived in Rome, the conservative ecclesiastical establishment and the Council of Trent had ensured that any musical hint of the "lascivious or the impure" was largely banished (Palestrina was even moved to dismiss his publication of secular madrigals as a youthful peccadillo). It is therefore not surprising to find that Victoria's output consists solely of religious music that eschews even the use of secular cantus firmus, and that displays the formal perfection and the well-smoothed vocal writing of the Palestrina style. What is surprising is that despite his Roman training and years of service in the city, Victoria so strongly retained his Spanish roots. Some of his finest works were composed after his return home, and many of them contain features that seem to epitomize the deeply mystical approach of so much Spanish Renaissance music. Comparison with Palestrina reveals a greater emphasis on chromatic color and use of dynamic contrast; Victoria's block harmonies and multiple choirs look forward to the Baroque. His response to words is acute and highly personal, a characteristic particularly suited to the comparatively dynamic and plastic form of the motet and to other texts which allow full rein to subjective treatment. Of Victoria's 44 motets, the early four-part O quam gloriosum can perhaps be allowed a special mention, since it is pervaded by a youthful vigor and joyous radiance that gives lie to the understandable impression that Spanish Renaissance composers were preoccupied with somber religious subjects. His widely performed Christmas motet, O magnum mysterium, exudes a quiet sense of wonder. Victoria's fame as a motet composer has tended to overshadow his masses, yet at their finest, as in the lovely Missa Ave maris stella, they are not inferior to those of Palestrina.

To discover Victoria at his greatest, however, one must ultimately return to the darker side, and in particular to the two works by which he is best known, the Tenebrae Responsories (first published in 1585) and the Requiem of 1605, a work of timeless serenity. The former is a setting of 18 pieces that adhere to the traditional form of the responsory, with its alternation of verse and refrain. The work takes us through the Passion story in music that relies not so much on the drama of the events themselves as on a quite extraordinarily direct and profound response to the text, a response frequently achieved by means of the greatest simplicity, or, perhaps more accurately, apparent simplicity. Read less
Agnus Dei - Classical Music For Reflection And Meditation
Release Date: 08/31/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8556701   Number of Discs: 1
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Peace / Llewellyn, Chorus Of Handel & Haydn Society
Release Date: 04/06/2004   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 39   Number of Discs: 1
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The Golden Age - Siglo De Oro / The King's Singers
Release Date: 02/26/2008   Label: Signum U.k.  
Catalog: 119   Number of Discs: 1
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Victoria: Requiem Mass; Lobo / Nigel Short, Tenebrae
Release Date: 05/24/2011   Label: Signum U.k.  
Catalog: 248   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 193 Tomás Luis de Victoria recordings available.

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Works

Tomás Luis de Victoria


MOST POPULAR WORKS
O Quam Gloriosum
O Quam Gloriosum
WORKS
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Agnus Dei
Introitus
Kyrie
Graduale
Offertorium
Sanctus
Agnus Dei
Communio
Libera me - Responsory
Peccantem me quotidie - Responsory
Credo quod redemptor - Responsory
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus, Benedictus
Agnus Dei
Kyrie
Gloria
Credo
Sanctus
Benedictus
Agnus Dei
O Quam Gloriosum
O Quam Gloriosum
Taedet animam meam
Introitus: Requiem aeternam
Kyrie
Oratio - Dominus vobiscum
Epistola:Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli ad Thessalon.
Graduale: 1. Requiem aeternam - 2. In memoria
Tractus: Absolve, Domine
Sequentia: Dies irae, dies illa
Evangelium: Dominus vobiscum
Offertorium: Domine Jesu Christe
Prefatio: Per omnia secula seculorum
Sanctus: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Benedictus
Pater Noster - Per omnia secula seculorum
Agnus Dei: Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi
Communio: Lux aeterna
Postcommunio: Dominus vobiscum
Motectum: Versa est in luctum cithara mea
Absolutio: Responsorium V ad absolutionem post missam
Vere languores nostros - Motet a 4
Pueri Hebraeorum - Motet a 4
Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae a 4
Vau. Et egressus est a 4
Iod. Manum suam misit hostis a 5
O Domine Jesu Christe - Motet a 6
Heth. Cogitavit Dominus a 4
Lamed. Matribus suis dixerunt a 4
Aleph. Ego vir videns a 5
O vos omnes - Motet a 4
Heth. Misericordiae Domini a 4
Aleph. Quomodo obscuratum a 4
Incipit oratorio Jesemiae Prophetae a 6


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