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The Victoria Collection / Harry Christophers, The Sixteen


Release Date: 03/08/2011 
Label:  Coro   Catalog #: 16089   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Laurence CummingsJeremy WestSally JacksonFrances Eustace,   ... 
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Tomás Luis de Victoria. This remarkable Spaniard, perhaps the most outstanding composer of his time, epitomized the emotion and fervor of Renaissance Europe. This new box set contains four of The Sixteen’s celebrated Victoria recordings, including his masterpiece, the Requiem 1605.

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set.

Devotion to our Lady
This programme of music by the 16th-century Spanish composer Victoria is the first in a series in which Harry Christophers and The Sixteen will be recording all his major choral masses as well as the other smaller-scale pieces. Vol. 1, Devotion to our Lady,
Read more features the eight-voice Missa Salve regina for two choirs and organ, as well as the ‘Salve regina’ antiphon on which the Mass is based. Victoria was a great parodist and most, if not all, of his masses are based either on his own motets or antiphons. The Missa Salve regina is brightly coloured with rhythmic variety and joyful vigour. The Sixteen respond wonderfully well to Victoria’s rich harmonies, achieving both linear clarity and texturally rich and satisfying cadential closes. The soprano line suffuses the music’s radiance, though the male altos are inclined to sound obtrusive. That apart, this performance makes an auspicious start to an important project. The recorded sound, a critical factor in music of this kind, is ideally judged, allowing the listener to savour the resonances without loss of detail.

-- Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine

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Requiem
"Victoria's Requiem of 1605 is one of his most popular works and The Sixteen's new offering, recorded earlier this year, builds on their previous recordings by complementing the voices with a chamber organ and the wonderfully robust-sounding bajón, an early Spanish bassoon whose use in polyphonic performances of the period is well documented. An added attraction is the accompanying selection of Marian motets, to which The Sixteen respond very sensitively."

-- Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone

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Mystery of the Cross
This is what recording should be about: a project with a vision in which thoughtfully planned programming is allied to excellent performances and recorded sound to flesh out our knowledge of a repertory while at the same time giving great pleasure to the listener. The second volume in The Sixteen's Victoria series for Collins Classics (the first was reviewed in 8/97), entitled "The Mystery of the Cross", meets all these criteria. Pleasure may seem an odd word to use in the context of a recording of Lamentations and hymns for Holy Week as there is absolutely no sense in which Victoria's music is anything other than emotionally harrowing, especially when sung with the appropriately fierce intensity brought to it by The Sixteen under the direction of Harry Christophers. There is nothing very 'English' (in terms of cool and polite) here; nor, though I hesitate to open up another old debate, do these modern, mixed-gender voices fail to convey the strength of the spiritual message behind the music.

It is one of those curious quirks of performance history that it has been Victoria's Tenebrae Responsories that have come to be well known today rather than the Lamentations which are every bit as fine, drawing on the same austere, essentially chordal style that was adopted by renaissance composers — especially in the Iberian world — when it came to contemplation of the Cross. Vocal scoring, balancing of chords and the sense of tension and release generated by carefully prepared suspensions become crucial components in these spare textures, and all are comprehended superbly well in this recording. The essentially homophonic idiom also inspires much more shaping of phrase and use of dynamic contrasts than is commonly encountered today in performances of sacred polyphony of a more contrapuntal kind. It is noticeable that in the two hymns inserted between the Lamentations, the greater contrapuntal complexity and comparatively florid melodic writing of the polyphonic verses results in less shaping, the overlapping movement of the voices having a continuous swell that tends to diffuse such arresting effects. The last two verses of the Passiontide hymn Vexilla Regis are, however, no less dramatic than the Lamentations: the sixth verse ("0 crux ave, spes unica"), which would usually have been sung with the singers kneeling before the Crucifix, is strikingly sustained, while the last verse ("Te summa Deus Trinitas") has a triumphal quality that almost exuberantly communicates the central message of the Passion of Christ.

Before I run out of superlatives, I must also commend the exemplary insert-notes by Martyn Imrie, who together with Bruno Turner, is an adviser for the series. I'm not sure what will be on Vol. 3, but I for one can hardly wait to hear it. Meanwhile, rush out and buy this beautiful and moving recording.

-- TK, Gramophone [5/1998]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Laetatus sum by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Laurence Cummings (Organ), Jeremy West (Cornett), Sally Jackson (Dulcian),
Frances Eustace (Dulcian), Susan Addison (Sackbut), Paul Nieman (Sackbut),
Stephen Saunders (Sackbut), Adam Wolf (Sackbut)
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1583 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Missa "Laetatus sum" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Paul Nieman (Sackbut), Jeremy West (Cornett), Frances Eustace (Dulcian),
Sally Jackson (Dulcian), Adam Wolf (Sackbut), Susan Addison (Sackbut),
Stephen Saunders (Sackbut), Laurence Cummings (Organ)
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1600; Spain 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 22 Minutes 31 Secs. 
3.
Veni, Creator Spiritus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Vadam, et circumibo civitatem by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Written: pub 1572 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
Vidi speciosam by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6.
Ad coenam agni providi by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7.
Magnificat sexti toni by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer:  Jeremy West (Cornett), Susan Addison (Sackbut), Paul Nieman (Sackbut),
Adam Wolf (Sackbut), Stephen Saunders (Sackbut), Sally Jackson (Dulcian),
Frances Eustace (Dulcian), Laurence Cummings (Organ)
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
Venue:  St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
8.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
9.
Pange lingua "more hispano" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Vexilla regis "more hispano" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 10 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 55 Secs. 
12.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Et egressus est by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 7 Minutes 1 Secs. 
13.
Lectio III, Feria V in Cona Domini. Iod - Manum suam misit hostis by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 16 Secs. 
14.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Cogitavit Dominus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
15.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Matribus suis dixerunt by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 24 Secs. 
16.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Ego vir videns by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
17.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Incipit oratio Jeremiae by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
18.
Lectio I, Sabbato Sancto. Heth - Misericordiæ Domini by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
19.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Lamentations of Jeremiah - Quomodo obscuratum by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/1997 
Venue:  St Jude's on the Hill, Hampstead, London 
Length: 6 Minutes 11 Secs. 
20.
Salve regina à 6 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1572; Spain 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, London, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
21.
Ave regina coelorum à 5 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
22.
Nigra sum sed formosa by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
23.
Trahe me post te by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1583; Spain 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
24.
Ave regina coelorum à 8 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
25.
Quam pulchri sunt by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Spain 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
26.
Missa "Pro defunctis" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1583; Spain 
27.
Salve regina a 8 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 
28.
Missa "Salve regina" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1592 
29.
Ave, maris stella by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
30.
Alma Redemptoris mater à 8 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
31.
Regina caeli laetare by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
32.
Ave Maria, gratia plena à 8 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Italy 
33.
Magnificat primi toni a 8 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 

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