Victoria: Missa Dum complerentur & other sacred music
CDH55452 Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Victoria’s double-choir setting of ‘Veni Sancte Spiritus’ is included in a mixed collection of his Masses, Magnificats, Psalms and other pieces published in Madrid by Ioannes Flandrum in 1600. The setting leaves out verses 4, 6 and 8 and the final Alleluia of the full text of the sequence and the way the music is written precludes the insertion of these verses as plainsong interpolations into the polyphony. The music begins slowly, with solemn imitative entries of a theme loosely based on the opening phrase of the plainsong, but soon blossoms into more homophonic antiphonal exchanges between the two choirs and breaks into triple time at the words ‘Consolator optime’. After a brief passage in full eight-part harmony, the music returns to antiphonal exchanges between the two choirs until, at the words ‘Da perenne gaudium’, both choirs join in a final eight-part section of impressive beauty and sonority.
from notes by Jon Dixon © 1996