Tomás Luis de Victoria was the greatest composer of the Spanish sixteenth-century ‘golden age’ of polyphonic music. This recording is of the six-voice Missa Dum complerentur, the five-part motet on which the Mass is based, and six further hymns and sequences including the great Popule meus, a setting of the Improperia (Reproaches) which form the heart of the liturgy for Good Friday. This is music of compelling beauty, which illustrates well Victoria’s extraordinary capacity to create through simple homophony extremely moving music of great expressiveness.
Tomás Luis de Victoria is definitely one of the most important composers in the music history of Spain. His masterpiece is the ‘Officium Defunctorum’, published in Madrid in 1605. In this requiem – written for the funeral of Maria of Austria, daughter of Emperor Charles V – the composer reached a mystical intensity of expression.
Tomás Luis de Victoria was born in 1548 in Avila, the birthplace of St Teresa. Just as she seems to personify the religious ethos of sixteenth-century Spain (the good side of it, at least), so Victoria came to embody the best of the Spanish character in music. As a youth he learnt his art as a chorister at the Cathedral of Avila. So promising was he that he was sent to Rome at seventeen years of age, patronised by Philip II and by the Church, to study at the Jesuits’ Collegium Germanicum…
This album gathers highlights from Montserrat Figueras career for the Astrée, DHM, EMI and Alia Vox labels. 5 of the 35 tracks have already been reissued in a portrait album released in the 1990s by Astrée, La 'Voix de l Emotion'. Jordi Savall wanted to keep the same title for this much more comprehensive double album, in tribute to the late Montserrat Figueras, his wife and collaborator of 43 years. 35 year-career: 35 tracks a dazzlingly clear soprano voice, a line of the purest silk, as strong as it was delicate.