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Victoria: Missa Dum Complerentur / O'Donnell, Westminster

Victoria / O'donnell
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55452   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a superb and compelling disc that adds to our knowledge and appreciation of Victoria's art.

Westminster Cathedral Choir continue to make their special contribution to the music of Tomás Luis de Victoria with this recording of his Missa Dum complerentur and other works, including a number of hymn settings - works that have so often been overlooked in the past. The Mass, for Pentecost, is based on Victoria's own motet; he adds an extra voice in the parody Mass setting and draws much on the opening material of the motet as well as its distinctive "Alleluia" Sections which ring out like a peal of bells - especially in this excellent performance. Indeed, the motet is finely conceived, with Victoria
Read more characteristically responding to the imagery of the text with changes of texture and pacing within the essentially contrapuntal idiom: a true master. If the text of the Ordinary of the Mass afforded fewer opportunities for word-painting, this clearly offered no challenge to Victoria at either the level of invention or sense of overall structure.

The choir, with its full-bodied sound and wellsustained vocal lines, has, over long years of tradition in singing this particular part of the repertory, achieved an almost intuitive feel for the flow of the music, which is perhaps as near as we'll ever get today to the authentic situation of professional church singers in Rome or the Spanish cathedrals in the sixteenth century. What we'll never know is whether the sonority - in particular the timbre of the boys' voices (commonly described as 'continental' although more, I suspect, in opposition to the treble sound developed at King's College, Cambridge, than based on the reality of choirs on the continent) resembles anything Victoria might have heard. The boys have, perhaps, become slightly less punchy in recent years, but still have that distinctive focus and intensity of tone, as is well illustrated by the two Holy Week settings on the disc: the homophonic Popule mucus and the hymn Vexilla regis prodeunt. This, and the two Pentecost hymns, are performed in alternatim with alternate verses in plainchant and polyphony - this structure probably accounting for current neglect of a musical genre of much greater importance in the renaissance. Once again, this is a superb and compelling disc that adds to our knowledge and appreciation of Victoria's art.

- Gramophone, [August, 1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Missa "Dum complerentur" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1576; Spain 
Language: Latin 
2.
Dum complerentur dies Pentecostes by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1572; Italy 
3.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Tenebrae Responsories - Popule meus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
4.
Lauda Sion by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
5.
Veni, Creator Spiritus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
6.
Vexilla regis prodeunt by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
7.
Pange lingua "more hispano" by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1581; Spain 
8.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1600; Spain 

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