WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Victoria: Et Jesum - Motets For Solo Voice / Carlos Mena


Release Date: 06/08/2010 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 507042   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos RiveraCarlos Mena
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


Listeners will be both surprised and enthralled by the music and performances on this extraordinary recording: surprised to find that such transcriptions for solo voice and vihuela or lute exist of these magnificent works, known for centuries in their choral settings, and enthralled by the sheer beauty, sensitivity, and sensuousness of the performances. The catch is, most of what we hear are adaptations by the performers--not by Victoria himself or any of his contemporaries or immediate followers--that are nevertheless in keeping with a common practice during Victoria's time and after. Taking their models (and a few actual selections) from several 16th and 17th-century manuscripts that feature
Read more dozens of vocal works--by such composers as Victoria, Byrd, Tallis, Marenzio, and Palestrina--transcribed for plucked-string instruments and voice, Juan Carlos Rivera and countertenor Carlos Mena added self-made transcriptions of their own favorite Victoria works to create a musically engaging, eminently listenable program. (I should mention that it takes some effort, and a little knowledge of Spanish, to determine exactly which selections come from which sources, and in the case of the original-manuscript pieces, there's no way to tell how precisely they were followed. Providing such basic information would have been easy and helpful for interested listeners.)

For anyone who may have doubts concerning the usefulness of these kinds of transcriptions, or who may think the results will be unimpressive relative to Victoria's original choral works--throw away your worries. These renditions, beautifully sung and artfully played by Mena and Rivera (and on a couple of pieces, by cornetist Francisco Gallego) preserve all of the music's harmonic elements and much of the original polyphonic activity while focusing our ear even more attentively on Victoria's lovely, lyrical melodic lines and on the texts that inspired them. It's a pleasure to hear the beloved motet O magnum mysterium in this setting, and although Mena necessarily sings only the upper-most voice part, he proves it more than worthy of its role as a stand-alone melody. Other highlights are the motets Ne timeas, Maria and Iste Sanctus, where Mena sings with an ardor and technical mastery that brings us directly to the music's emotional core. Several tracks feature Rivera alone in his own thoughtfully and skillfully rendered instrumental transcriptions of three mass movements; he joins with Mena for three more, this time from the Missa O magnum mysterium. In all, this is a classy, unique, and very affecting program that gives a welcome perspective on works we may know well--but, as we discover here, not well enough. The sound is first-rate. Highly recommended. [5/10/2004]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com reviewing the original release of this recording, HM 987042 Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Duo seraphim clamabant by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1583; Italy 
Language: Latin 
2. O decus apostolicum by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572 
Language: Latin 
3. Missa "Quam pulchri sunt": Domine by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Vihuela)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1583; Spain 
4. Salve regina a 8: Et Iesum by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 
Language: Latin 
5. Senex puerum portabat by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Language: Latin 
6. Magi viderunt stellam by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Language: Latin 
7. Domine, non sum dignus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1583; Spain 
Language: Latin 
8. O magnum mysterium by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Language: Latin 
9. Missa "O magnum mysterium": Sanctus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1592; Spain 
Language: Latin 
10. Missa "O magnum mysterium": Benedictus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1592; Spain 
Language: Latin 
11. Missa "O magnum mysterium": Agnus Dei by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1592; Spain 
Language: Latin 
12. Ne timeas, Maria by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Language: Latin 
13. Missa "Gaudeamus": Pleni sunt by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Vihuela)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 
14. Iste sanctus pro lege by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Language: Latin 
15. Estote fortes in bello by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585 
Language: Latin 
16. Alma Redemptoris mater by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Language: Latin 
17. Missa "Gaudeamus": Domine Deus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Vihuela)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 
18. O quam gloriosum by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Carlos Mena (Countertenor)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Language: Latin 
19. Doctor bonus amicus Dei Andreas by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572 
Language: Latin 
20. Missa "Quam pulchri sunt": Crucifixus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Vihuela)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1583; Spain 
21. Pueri hebraeorum by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo), Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Language: Latin 
22. Salve regina by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Juan Carlos Rivera (Lute), Carlos Mena (Countertenor), Juan Carlos Rivera (Theorbo)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Language: Latin 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook