De Victoria, Tomas Luis

Tomas Luis De VictoriaTomás 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 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.

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 religion.

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.

 

Tomas Luis De Victoria – Wikipedia