"Missa Pro Victoria" for Winds & Strings

Uploaded on Mar 13, 2019

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611) was the most famous composer in 16th-century Spain, and was one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation, along with Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso. Victoria was not only a composer, but also an accomplished organist and singer as well as a Catholic priest. However, he preferred the life of a composer to that of a performer.

Victoria was born in Sanchidrián in the province of Ávila, Castile around 1548 and died in 1611. Victoria's family can be traced back for generations. Not only are the names of the members in his immediate family known, but even the occupation of his grandfather. Victoria was the seventh of nine children born to Francisco Luis de Victoria and Francisca Suárez de la Concha. His mother was of converso descent. After his father's death in 1557, his uncle, Juan Luis, became his guardian. He was a choirboy in Ávila Cathedral. Cathedral records state that his uncle, Juan Luis, presented Victoria's Liber Primus to the Church while reminding them that Victoria had been brought up in the Ávila Cathedral. Because he was such an accomplished organist, many believe that he began studying the keyboard at an early age from a teacher in Ávila. Victoria most likely began studying "the classics" at St. Giles's, a boys' school in Ávila. This school was praised by St.Teresa of Avila and other highly regarded people of music.

He was a master at overlapping and dividing choirs with multiple parts with a gradual decreasing of rhythmic distance throughout. Not only does Victoria incorporate intricate parts for the voices, but the organ is almost treated like a soloist in many of his choral pieces. Victoria did not begin the development of psalm settings or antiphons for two choirs, but he continued and increased the popularity of such repertoire. Victoria reissued works that had been published previously, and included new revisions in each new issue.

The nine-voice Missa Pro victoria (1600) is the only one of Tomás Luis de Victoria's Mass compositions which parodies a secular work. In this case, the model is a chanson of Clement Jennequin, La Battaille de Marignan (also known as "La guerre"), which celebrates a French victory in 1515. The model chanson itself is an odd and somewhat distracting piece, one of the composer's program chansons (such as Les cries de Paris), full of onomatopoeia -- the singers actually mimic the sounds of cannon, sword thrusts, and cries of pain. Victoria brings these unusual declamatory elements wholesale into this multiple-choir Mass; the resulting stylistic idiosyncrasies, along with the unusual model choice, have given this Mass a certain "black sheep" status within Victoria's works. Not suitable for daily worship, Victoria's Mass seems to have been composed for a special occasion, probably for Prince Philip III, to whom Victoria's last book of Masses was itself dedicated.

All five of the main Mass movements begin with references to the model's opening; Kyrie I and Agnus Dei quote the entire polyphonic complex of Jannequin's chanson. Interior motives appear in profusion: the "Et resurrexit" of the Mass borrows from the chanson music associated with words of encouragement in the Battle, "Et iterum" adopts one of the many depictions of falling blows, and "Pleni sunt" quotes a busy section evoking the action of fifes and drums. The Mass achieves further structural cohesion through the reuse of several whole sections of music. The entire cycle is framed by repetition of the block opening of Kyrie I in the Agnus Dei; other blocks reused include the "Qui tollis" and the closing to Kyrie II, which in fact closes the Agnus Die at "dona nobis pacem." Musically, then, the Missa Pro victoria presents an aural front which, though atypical (at times it sounds proto-Baroque!), is quite unified.

In general, the composer's treatment of his model follows a symbolic path connecting the Guerre of the chanson to the ongoing spiritual warfare, and eventual victory, which is celebrated in the Mass. As a strong example of this, one scholar notes that the material borrowed for Kyrie I and Agnus Dei relates to a section of the chanson which mentions the actual "victoire du noble roy," introducing the idea of victory at the outset and the consummation of the Mass. This setting demonstrates the same passionate Christianity found in Victoria's more familiar works, albeit in a context of innovation.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom%C3%A1s_Luis_de_Victoria ).

Although originally created for nine (9) voices (SSSAATTBB) & Organ, I created this Interpretation of the "Missa Pro Victoria" (Mass on Victoria) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, English Horn, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).


Pages 44
Duration 17:13
Measures 546
Key signature 2 flats
Parts 9
Part names Flute, Oboe, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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