Personalities | Tomás Luis de Victoria | Renaissance | Classical

(To-mas’ Loo-es’ da Vik-tôr’-ya) 1548–1611
Spanish composer

After training as a choirboy at Avila Cathedral, Victoria spent his early adult life in Rome, prin­cipally at the Jesuit Collegio Germanico, as both pupil and teacher. He returned to Spain permanently in the 1580s, where he became the chaplain to Philip II’s sister, Maria; he remained there as organist after her death in 1603. The Counter-Reformation intensity of Victoria’s music encourages comparison with the paintings of his contemporary El Greco. Not as prolific as Palestrina or Lassus, Victoria published 20 Masses and a variety of smaller liturgical works. His Christmas motet O magnum mysterium (1572), on which he based a parody Mass, opens with a poignant setting of the solemn text ‘Oh Great Mystery’ and closes with a jubilant Alleluia.

Recommended Recording:
Officium defunctorum, Westminster Cathedral Choir (dir) David Hill (Hyperion)

Introduction | Renaissance | Classical
Personalities | Thomas Weelkes | Renaissance | Classical


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