Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories - Stile Antico (CD)

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Stile Antico

Born in 1548, Tomás Luis de Victoria received his early musical training as a chorister of Avila Cathedral under the tutelage of Gerónimo de Espinar and Bernardino de Ribera – the latter of whom can be counted amongst the greatest Spanish composers of his generation. Victoria was probably around seventeen when he travelled to Rome to continue his education at the Collegio Germanico. It was a city rich in opportunity for him, for he stayed there for the first half of his adult life, working as a singer, teacher, organist and maestro di cappella for several institutions including the Collegio Germanico, and taking holy orders. It was not until 1587 that, returning to his native Spain, Victoria settled in Madrid, serving as chaplain to the Dowager Empress Maria, and as maestro de capilla in the chapel of the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales, where she resided, until her death in 1603. After this he remained as chapel organist and one of the convent chaplains until his own death eight years later.

The Tenebrae Responsories come from a larger collection of polyphonic music for Holy Week, the Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, which Victoria published in 1585, assembling a number of pieces he had written during his years in Rome. The responsories set here are part of the much longer office of Tenebrae, which essentially combined the monastic hours of Matins and Lauds for each of the last three days of Holy Week, the triduum sacrum.

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"Stile Antico is a vastly experienced ensemble and projects these pieces with poise, technical finesse and nuance. Their account of Christ’s betrayal by Peter (‘Jesum traditit’), for example, captures wonderfully the fateful atmosphere of that event."

"This has to be Stile Antico’s best album to date: it’s certainly their most gripping and, as ever with this ensemble, the vocal sound is sumptuous throughout...It’s rather thrilling therefore to hear Stile Antico, who often perform Renaissance polyphony calmly, tap in to the dramatic excitement and atmospheric intensity now associated with these works."

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"Maundy Thursday Responsories Second and Third Nocturns"
1. Amicus meus
2. Judas mercator 
3. Unus ex discipulis meis 
4. Eram quasi agnus
5. Una hora
6. Seniores populi 

7. Incipit lamentatio Jeremiæ 

"Good Friday Responsories Second and Third Nocturns"
8. Tamquam ad latronem 
9. Tenebræ factæ sunt
10. Animam meam dilectam 
11. Tradiderunt me
12. Jesum tradidit impius 
13. Caligaverunt oculi mei 

14. De lamentatione Jeremiæ 

"Holy Saturday Responsories Second and Third Nocturns"
15. Recessit pastor noster 
16. O vos omnes
17. Ecce quomodo moritur 
18. Astiterunt reges terræ
19. Æstimatus sum 
20. Sepulto Domino

21. De lamentatione Jeremiæ Prophetæ
22. Motet O Domine Jesu Christe