Victoria: Missa Salve regina à 8; Salve regina à 8; Magnificat à 8; Ave maria stella à 4

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COMPOSERS: Victoria
LABELS: Collins
WORKS: Missa Salve regina à 8; Salve regina à 8; Magnificat à 8; Ave maria stella à 4
PERFORMER: The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
CATALOGUE NO: 15012
This programme of music by the 16th-century Spanish composer Victoria is the first in a series in which Harry Christophers and The Sixteen will be recording all his major choral masses as well as the other smaller-scale pieces. Vol. 1, Devotion to our Lady, features the eight-voice Missa Salve regina for two choirs and organ, as well as the ‘Salve regina’ antiphon on which the Mass is based. Victoria was a great parodist and most, if not all, of his masses are based either on his own motets or antiphons. The Missa Salve regina is brightly coloured with rhythmic variety and joyful vigour. The Sixteen respond wonderfully well to Victoria’s rich harmonies, achieving both linear clarity and texturally rich and satisfying cadential closes. The soprano line suffuses the music’s radiance, though the male altos are inclined to sound obtrusive. That apart, this performance makes an auspicious start to an important project. The recorded sound, a critical factor in music of this kind, is ideally judged, allowing the listener to savour the resonances without loss of detail. Nicholas Anderson

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