Hyperion Records

Alma redemptoris mater a 5
composer
first published in 1572
editor
from the 1576 edition published by Angelo Gardano in Venice, British Library
author of text
Antiphon to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Advent to the Feast of the Purification

Recordings
'Christmas Vespers at Westminster Cathedral' (CDA67522)
Christmas Vespers at Westminster Cathedral
Details

Alma redemptoris mater a 5
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Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611) is now considered one of Spain’s most famous composers, yet in his time he was regarded more as a Roman writer and little known in Spain until he returned there in 1587. Born near the great spiritual centre of Avila, he went to study in Rome after his voice broke and held numerous posts there before becoming maestro at the German College. In 1583 he petitioned King Phillip II that he might return to Spain to concentrate on his priestly duties (he had been ordained priest in 1575) and was allowed to return as chaplain to the Dowager Empress Maria. His five-part setting of the Marian antiphon for the Christmas season Alma redemptoris mater is an extended and richly coloured composition, spacious and grand.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2006

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