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VICTORIA, TOMAS LUIS DE Requiem 1605 Officium Defunctorum. The Sixteen / Harry Christophers. Coro SACD

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Victoria Tomas Luis De Requiem Sixteen Harry Christophers Coro Sacd

TOMAS LUIS DE VICTORIA

Requiem 1605

Officium Defunctorum

Salve Regina - Ave Regina caelorum a 5

Nigra sum - Quam pulchri sunt

Trahe me post te - Ave Regina caelorum a 8

Taedet animam meam

Missa pro defunctis a 6

The Sixteen/ Harry Christophers

Recorded In 2005

This new recording features the celebrated Requiem of 1605, Victoria’s final composition, a work of beguiling beauty and sumptuous simplicity. It can be seen as the summation of both his art and the Spanish Renaissance tradition. The beautiful plainsong on which it is structured can be heard arching through the texture, forming a delicate and sinuous line throughout. Subtly accompanied by a chamber organ and bajón, it is recorded here with the same forces as may well have performed it originally in the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales.

The Requiem is preceded by Marian Antiphons interspersed with three motets setting texts from the Song of Songs.

SACD-CD hybrid/surround sound

Sometimes it is a good idea for an ensemble not to rush a newly-learned work straight into the recording studio.

Victoria's Requiem has long been part of the Sixteen's repertoire, but this is their first recording of it, and their patience has paid dividends. The singers display a mature understanding of the music and sensitivity to all its expressive nuances that only long acquaintance can create, and which produces a spiritual intensity entirely appropriate to Victoria's last, greatest work.

Long lines flow effortlessly, polyphonic textures are admirably clear, and minute attention to phrasing and dynamics means that no detail of his response to these particularly emotive texts is lost.

This is seen equally well in the singers' evocation of the searing bleakness and bitterness of the simple chordal Matins lesson Taedet animam meam, or the desolation of the funeral motet Versa est in luctum, and in their passionate, even punchy, approach to the horrors of hell in the Offertory, and to the violent convulsions of nature at the Last Judgment in the Libera me.

Elizabeth Roche, Telegraph

Coro SACD CORSACD16033

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