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Tomas Luis de Victoria
 
 
 
 
 
Tomás Luis de Victoria, sometimes Italianised as da Vittoria (1548 – 20 August 1611), was the most famous composer of the 16th century in Spain, and one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation, along with Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso. Victoria was not only a composer, but also an accomplished organist and singer. However, he preferred the life of a composer to that of a performer. He is sometimes known as the "Spanish Palestrina" because he may have been taught by Palestrina.
 
 
 
 
Life and career

Victoria was born in Sanchidrián in the province of Ávila, Castile around 1548 and died in 1611. Victoria’s family can be traced back for generations. Not only are the names of the members in his immediate family known, but even the occupation of his grandfather. Victoria was the seventh of nine children born to Francisco Luis de Victoria and Francisca Suárez de la Concha. After his father’s death in 1557, his uncle, Juan Luis, became his guardian. He was a choirboy in Ávila Cathedral. Cathedral records state that his uncle, Juan Luis, presented Victoria’s Liber Primus to the church while reminding them that Victoria had been brought up in the Ávila Cathedral. Because he was such an accomplished organist, many believe that he began studying the keyboard at an early age from a teacher in Ávila. Victoria most likely began studying "the classics" at St. Giles’s, a boy’s school in Ávila. This school was praised by St. Teresa and other highly regarded people of music.
After receiving a grant from Philip II in 1565, Victoria went to Rome and became cantor at the Collegium Germanicum founded by St. Ignatius Loyola. He may have studied with Palestrina around this time, though the evidence is circumstantial; certainly he was influenced by the Italian's style. For some time, beginning in 1573, Victoria held two positions. One being at the German College and the other being at the Roman Seminary. He held the positions of chapelmaster and instructor of plainsong. In 1571, he was hired at the Collegium Germanicum as a teacher and began earning his first steady income. Victoria, after Palestrina left the Roman Seminary, took over the position of maestro at the Seminary. Victoria became an ordained priest in 1574. Before this he was made a deacon, but didn’t serve as deacon as long as typical deacons before becoming a priest. In 1575, Victoria was appointed Maestro di Capella at S. Apollinare. Many church officials would ask Victoria for his opinion on appointments to cathedral positions because of his fame and knowledge. He was faithful to his position of a convent organist even after his professional debut as an organist. He did not stay in Italy, however.
In 1587 Philip II honored his desire to return to his native Spain, naming him chaplain to his sister, the Dowager Empress María, daughter of Charles V, who had been living in retirement with her daughter Princess Margarita at the Monasterio de las Descalzas de S Clara at Madrid from 1581. In 1591, Victoria became a godfather to his brother Juan Luis’s daughter, Isabel de Victoria. Victoria worked for 24 years at Descalzas Reales. He served there for 17 years as the empress’s chaplain until her death and then as convent organist. Victoria was also being paid much more at the Descalzas Reales than he would have earned as a cathedral chapelmaster, receiving an annual income from absentee benefices from 1587–1611. When the empress Maria died in 1603, she gave three chaplaincies in the convent, with Victoria receiving one of them. According to Victoria, he never accepted any extra pay for being a chapelmaster, and he became the organist rather than the chapelmaster. Such was the esteem in which he was held that his contract allowed him frequent travel away from the convent. He was able to visit Rome in 1593 for two years, attending Palestrina's funeral in 1594. He died in 1611 in the chaplains’ residence and was buried at the convent, although his tomb has yet to be identified.
Even though Victoria is typically viewed as being the leading composer of the Roman School, the school was also heavily marked by other Spanish composers such as Morales, Guerrero, and Escobedo.





Music

Victoria is the most significant composer of the Counter-Reformation in Spain, and one of the best-regarded composers of sacred music in the late Renaissance, a genre to which he devoted himself exclusively. Victoria’s music reflected his intricate personality. In his music, the passion of Spanish mysticism and religion is expressed. Victoria was praised by Padre Martini for his melodic phrases and his joyful inventions. His works have undergone a revival in the 20th century, with numerous recent recordings. Many commentators hear in his music a mystical intensity and direct emotional appeal, qualities considered by some to be lacking in the arguably more rhythmically and harmonically placid music of Palestrina. There are quite a few differences in their compositional styles, such as treatment of melody and quarter-note dissonances.
Victoria was a master at overlapping and dividing choirs with multiple parts with a gradual decreasing of rhythmic distance throughout. Not only does Victoria incorporate intricate parts for the voices, but the organ is treated almost like a soloist in many of his choral pieces. Victoria did not begin the development of psalm settings or antiphons for two choirs, but he continued and increased the popularity of such repertoire. Victoria would reissue works that had been published previously, and would include new revisions in each new issue.
Victoria published his first book of motets in 1572. In 1585 Victoria wrote his Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, a collection which included 37 pieces that are part of the Holy Week celebrations in the Catholic liturgy.
Two influences in Victoria’s life were Giovanni Maria Nanino and Luca Marenzio. Victoria admired them for their work in madrigals rather than church music. It has been speculated that Victoria took lessons from Escobedo at an early age before moving to Rome.
Victoria claimed that he composed his most creative works under his patron, His Eminence Otto Cardinal von Truchsess. However, Stevenson does not believe that he learned everything about music under Cardinal Truchsess’s patronage; Victoria would like people to believe such a fact. During the years that Victoria was devoted to Philip II, he expressed exhaustion from his compositional work. Most of the compositions that Victoria wrote that were dedicated to Cardinal Bonelli, Philip II, or Pope Gregory XIII were not compensated properly.
Stylistically his music shuns the elaborate counterpoint of many of his contemporaries, preferring simple line and homophonic textures, yet seeking rhythmic variety and sometimes including intense and surprising contrasts. His melodic writing and use of dissonance is more free than that of Palestrina; occasionally he uses intervals which are prohibited in the strict application of 16th century counterpoint, such as ascending major sixths, or even occasional diminished fourths (for example, a melodic diminished fourth occurs in a passage representing grief in his motet Sancta Maria, succurre). Victoria sometimes uses dramatic word-painting, of a kind usually found only in madrigals. Some of his sacred music uses instruments (a practice which is not uncommon in Spanish sacred music of the 16th century), and he also wrote polychoral works for more than one spatially separated group of singers, in the style of the composers of the Venetian school who were working at St. Mark's in Venice.
His most famous work, and his masterpiece, was a Requiem Mass for the Empress Maria. Also notable is the serene emotion of each of the 37 pieces that form his Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae of 1585, a collection of motets and lamentations linked to the Holy Week Catholic celebrations.

 
 
 

Victoria was the greatest Spanish composer of the sixteenth century. A profoundly religious man, he wrote only sacred music. More than anywhere else in Europe, Spain was gripped at this time by a strident, zealous Catholicism, most evident in the purges of the Inquisition, in Ignatius Loyola's foundation of the Jesuit order in 1534, and in the creation of several new monastic orders. Such deep-seated religious fervour permeated all aspects of life, including the composition of church music. Victoria's music is a reflection of this highly charged and passionate attitude.

Born in Avila, the seventh of 11 children, Victoria grew up with religion an integral part of his life. Two of his uncles were priests, one of whom took care of the young Victoria after the death of his father when he was nine. He went to study at a local Jesuit school, sang in the choir of Avila Cathedral and built up a strong reputation locally.

When his voice broke he was encouraged by both the Cathedral and King Philip II of Spain to further his studies in Rome. There he joined the Jesuit Collegio Germanico, where he trained for the priesthood as well as practising music.

Palestrina was at that time the Maestro di Cappella at the nearby Scininano Romano, and it is likely that he taught Victoria; undoubtedly some sort of exchange of musical ideas took place between the two composers.

Victoria remained in Rome for over 20 years. He became a priest in 1575, and held several appointments at churches and religious institutions. Equally valuable to his musical development was the fertile contact with other composers living in or visiting Rome. He published a number of particularly beautiful books of his music, and in a dedication of Missarum libri duo to Philip II in 1583 he expressed a desire to return to his beloved Spain. In 1587 his wishes were granted when the King appointed him chaplain to the Dowager Empress Maria, widow of Maximilian II, who lived in retirement in Madrid. Victoria served at her convent for the rest of his life. In 1603 the Dowager Empress died and Victoria composed her Requiem, the mighty Officium defunctorum. Little more was heard from him before his own death in 1611.

Victoria's Masses are for four to 12 voices, often divided up into two or three choirs — an innovative arrangement. The rest of his work includes motets, Magnificats, and a variety of other sacred works. His music expresses the ardent, fatalistic Catholicism peculiar to his country and time. While the Officium defunctorum is deeply reflective, Masses such as О quam gloriosum and Ave maris Stella arc more joyful, holding out more hope for this life, as opposed to the next; all demonstrate his passionate faith.

 
 
 
Ave Maria

Joaquín Cachón
Amalia Rodríguez
Coro del Conservatorio de Badajoz
Amici Cantores

 
 
 
 
Ascendens Christus

Sanctus Jeff Ostrowski
Benedictus Jeff Ostrowsk

 
 
 
 
Dum Complerentur

Kyrie Amici Cantores
Gloria Amici Cantores
Credo Amici Cantores
Sanctus y Benedictus Amici Cantores
Agnus Dei Amici Cantores

 
 
 
 
O magnum mysterium

Amici Cantores
Lars Fredén
Ubi Sunt?
Coral Armiz

 
 
 
 
Jueves Santo

Incipit lamentatio

Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete

Vau. Et egressus

Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete

Jod. Manum suam

Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete

Amicus meus

Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete
Ubi Sunt?

Iudas mercator pessimus

Ubi sunt?
Coro del Conservatorio de Badajoz
Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete

Unus ex discipulis

Ubi sunt?
Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete

Eram quasi agnus

Ubi sunt?

Una hora

Ubi sunt?
Coro del Conservatorio de Badajoz
Coro Tomás Luis de Victoria de Brunete

Seniores populi

Ubi sunt?

 
 
 
Tomas Luis de Victoria - Tenebrae Responsories
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tomás Luis de Victoria - Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae
 
The Officium Sanctae Hebdomadae of 1585 is a monumental work comprising the complete cycle of the liturgy of Holy Week, like the cycles of the Protestant passions. It consists of 9 complaints, 18 responses, 2 passions and other parts. His style corresponds to the Roman school of Palestrina, though endowed with a particular drama and play of light and shadow, in which each voice contrapuntal fabric draws melodies independent musical value.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tomás Luis de Victoria - Officium defunctorum (1605)
 

Gabrielli Consort
Paul Mc Creesh

1. Lectio II ad Matutinum: Taedet animam meam 00:05

MISSA PRO DEFUNCTIS
2. Introitus: Requiem Aeternam 03:01
3. Kyrie 09:15
4. Oratio 13:10
5. Epistola 14:25
6. Graduale: Requiem Aeternam 16:24
7. Tractus: Absolve, Domine 19:15
8. Sequencia: Dies Irae 21:13
9. Evangelium 27:13
10. Offertorium: Domine Iesu Christe 29:25
11. Prefatio 34:39
12. Sanctus 36:07
13. Benedictus 38:12
14. Pater noster 39:25
15. Agnus Dei 40:38
16. Communio: Lux Aeterna 43:21
17. Postcommunio 46:49

RESPONSORIUM V
AD ABSOLUTIONEM POST MISSAM
18. Motectum: Versa est in luctum 48:00
19: Absolutio: Libera me, Domine 51:59

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tomás Luis de Victoria - Magnum & Ascendens

 

O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM . ASCENDENS CHRISTUS IN ALTUM (1548--1611)
1 O magnum mysterium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[4'48]
Missa O magnum mysterium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [22'21]
2 Kyrie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[1'50]
3 Gloria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[3'35]
4 Credo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[5'51]
5 Sanctus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[2'33]
6 Benedictus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[2'43]
7 Agnus Dei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[5'36]
8 Ascendens Christus in altum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[5'01]
Missa Ascendens Christus in altum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [20'57]
9 Kyrie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[1'45]
bl Gloria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[3'53]
bm Credo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[5'54]
bn Sanctus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[2'13]
bo Benedictus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[2'03]
bp Agnus Dei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1[5'06]

 
 
 
 
 
 
TOMÁS LUIS DE VICTORIA.- Responsorios de Tinieblas
 
1548-1611

Responsorios de Tinieblas

Jueves Santo: Segundo nocturno

Amicus meus
Judas mercator pessimus
Unus ex discipulis

Jueves Santo: Trecer nocturno

Eram quasi agnus
Una hora
Seniores populi

Viernes Santo: segundo nocturno
Tranquam ad latronem
Tenebrae factae sunt
Animam meam

Viernes Santo: trecer nocturno

Tradiderum me
Jesum tradidit impius
Caligaverunt oculi mei

Sabado Santo: segundo nocturno

Recessit pastor noster
O vos omnes
Ecce quomodo moritus justus

Sabado santo: tercer nocturno

Astiterunt reges
Aestimatus sum
Sepulto Domino

Coro de la Catedral de Westminster

Director: George Malcolm

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TOMÁS LUIS DE VICTORIA.- 1548-1611.-Misa de Réquiem en 6 partes
 
Misa de Réquiem en 6 partes

Introitus: Requiem aeternam
Kyrie eleison
Graduale: Requiem aeternam
Offertorium: Domine. Jesu Christe
Sanctus
Agnus Dei: I,II,III
Communio: Lux aeterna
Libera me

Coro del St. John's College , Cambridge

Director: George Guest

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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