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Track(s) taken from CDA66114

O quam gloriosum

from Motecta (1572)
author of text
Magnificat Antiphon at Second Vespers on the Feast of All Saints

Westminster Cathedral Choir, David Hill (conductor)
Recording details: November 1983
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: April 1986
Total duration: 2 minutes 36 seconds

Cover artwork: Mosaic of Christ Resurrected, St Mark’s, Venice.
Photographed by Malcolm Crowthers

Other recordings available for download

Westminster Cathedral Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
Clare College Choir Cambridge, Timothy Brown (conductor)
The Monteverdi Choir, Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)


'One of my most cherished records … such poise and sensitivity … one of the best choral records of its kind currently available. I can recommend it without reservation' (Gramophone)

'gloriously performed … The Westminster Cathedral Choir sing with a fervour and passion that puts their Anglican colleagues in the shade in this repertoire' (The Good CD Guide)

'David Hill's direction breathes commitment and sheer love of this music' (The Times)

'My single most satisfying choral disc of the year … I cannot be dispassionate about this record: marvellous, natural, throaty, vivid singing … a must' (The Sunday Times)

'Exemplary' (Hi-Fi News)
Victoria has long been regarded as the greatest Spanish Renaissance composer, despite being both less prolific and less versatile than many of his contemporaries: virtually his entire output, all of it Latin church music, is contained in only eleven volumes, all published in his lifetime. He began his musical life as a choirboy at Avila Cathedral, then moved to Rome to study at the Jesuit Collegio Germanico; he may have received tuition from Palestrina. He was made director of music at the Collegio in 1573, and was ordained priest in 1575. Despite growing European fame as a composer, he wanted to return to a quieter life in Spain, and in 1587 he accepted Philip II’s offer to become choirmaster and chaplain at the convent of Descalzas Reales in Madrid, where he remained until his death. O quam gloriosum, one of the best-loved of Victoria’s compositions, was published in 1572 in his First Book of Motets and reprinted a number of times. It was later used by Victoria as the basis of a mass setting, published in 1583. The text is proper to the Feast of All Saints (November 1st) when Christians remember the company of saints in heaven. Victoria matches the imagery of the text with flowing, transparent vocal lines which (unusually for the time) are not based on any pre-existing Gregorian chant but are freely composed.

from notes by Collegium Records © 2000

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