Saturday, 1 December 2007

18. Tomas Luis De Victoria - O Magnum Mysterium (1572)


Title: Tomas Luis de Victoria - Motets
Performer: Victoria Voices and Viols
Director: Andrew Hope
Year: 2001
Length: 30 minutes 30 seconds.


This is a tiny little jewel of music, it sounds actually pretty ahead of its time, although it is still a motet. The use of instruments might help, giving a whole depth of texture to the piece that would not be present otherwise.

The instrumentation although subdued, fleshed out the voices to a grand effect. But the quality of this track goes beyond the choice of the performers to use instruments. The music is beautiful in its own terms, Victoria makes a truly gentle and beautiful piece. A pity it was only three minutes. Look particularly for the beginning when they are singing O Magnum Mysterium and the Alleluia at the end. The sense of drama and emotion is amazing.

Track Highlight:

1. O Magnum Mysterium

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

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. 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.

Here's a version without instruments:

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