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Hyperion Records

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Fifteenth-century English alabaster sculpture 'Our Lady of Westminster'.
Photograph by Malcolm Crowthers
Track(s) taken from CDH55376
Recording details: March 1994
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: October 1994
Total duration: 12 minutes 3 seconds

'Stunning examples of Victoria's most expressive and dramatic writing … having just listened to this recording again my ears are ringing and my heart is uplifted: a perfect tonic for the bleaker part of winter' (Gramophone)

'A fervent sigh at the serenity and sheer beauty of it all' (Choir & Organ)

'Assolutamente riuscito, assolutamente strepitoso, assolutamente unico' (Musica, Italy)

Salve regina a 8
composer
1576; 8vv double choir
author of text
Antiphon to the Virgin Mary from Trinity until Advent

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Salve regina is the antiphon to the Blessed Virgin Mary which is sung from first vespers on Trinity Sunday to the Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent. Of the four settings of it which Victoria wrote, the most impressive and extended is the double-choir setting first published in the Gardane edition of 1576 and later reissued in 1600 in Madrid. The work is divided into seven separate sections and makes full use of contrasts between a choir of high voices and one of lower voices, and between reduced-voice fugal sections of great intensity and passages of staggering grandeur when the full resources of both choirs are used to create imposing sonorities and a sense of sublime serenity. This work must surely be accounted one of the greatest achievements of any composer in the era of polyphonic music.

from notes by Jon Dixon © 1994

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