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What are we to make of Ribera’s works, of his position in the hierarchy of Hispanic composers, and of his possible influence on Victoria? There is not enough of his music, nor enough variety in it, to award Ribera a place among the great masters, Morales, Guerrero and Victoria. His style seems influenced by Morales and by the mid-century musicians from the Low Countries brought in by Charles V and Philip II for their Capilla Flamenca. Ribera’s general manner is reminiscent of Gombert and his generation. It is very linear, very horizontal. Luxuriant tendrils of vocal lines take precedence over vertical harmonic (dare one say Palestrinian?) balance. But there are passages with clear melodic triads in the approaches to final cadences. Ribera is a link between the era of the Josquin emulators and that of Guerrero, Spain’s most popular composer in the late 1500s. He must have had some influence upon the teenage Victoria, but it is difficult to detect in Victoria’s very Roman style.
from notes by Bruno Turner © 2016