Tomás Luis de Victoria - O Magnum Mysterium (The Sixteen)




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Published on Dec 1, 2011

Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548 - 1611):

I think that this is one of the most touching choral pieces which ever came out of the 16th century.

Tomás Luis de Victoria, sometimes Italianised da Vittoria, was a Spanish composer of the late Renaissance. "The Spanish Palestrina", as he is known, 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 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 rather than that of a performer.

Victoria has been praised for his melodic phrases and his joyful inventions. One can hear in his music a mystical intensity and direct emotional appeal. Stylistically his music avoids 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. Victoria sometimes uses dramatic word-painting, of a kind usually found only in madrigals.

O magnum mysterium
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum
jacentem in praesepio.
O beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
portare Dominum Jesum Christum.

O great mystery
and wonderful sacrament,
that the animals should see the new-born Lord
lying in a manger.
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy
to bear Christ the Lord.

Sixteen Choir
Conducted by Harry Christophers

  • Category

  • Song

  • Artist

    • Handel And Haydn Society Chorus
  • Album

    • Peace - A Choral Album For Our Times
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • The Orchard Music (on behalf of AVIE Records); UMPG Publishing, Peermusic, CMRRA, ASCAP, AdRev Publishing, and 3 Music Rights Societies


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