Tomás Luis de Victoria: Second Vespers of the Feast of Annunciation

Tomás Luis de Victoria: Second Vespers of the Feast of Annunciation

by Exon Singers

CD(Jewel Case)

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Tomás Luis de Victoria: Second Vespers of the Feast of Annunciation

Recordings of Renaissance liturgical music have historically been of two types. The vast majority treat the music from the modern standpoint of venerating the "work," putting, for instance, all the movements of the Catholic mass Ordinary together in an unbroken sequence even though they would not have been used that way originally. A smaller group attempts to reconstruct liturgies as they would have occurred in their own times. This beautiful disc of music by Tomás Luís de Victoria steers a middle course between these extremes: a solution that makes a good deal of sense in this instance. The a cappella music here was written for the Vespers service, mostly, as the cover indicates, for the Marian Feast of the Annunciation. It hangs together in its generally imposing style, for the Annunciation was one of the major events of the liturgical year. But the disc does not reproduce a specific set of liturgical compositions. The Exon Singers and director Matthew Owen instead select relevant works that make musical sense, primarily because of their use of an eight-part SATB double choir texture. The music contracts to four voices and, for one psalm, expands to 12. And the polyphonic pieces are introduced by plainchant antiphons. The result is a program that inhabits the sound world of the original, but heightens it. As an example of mixed-gender Renaissance choral singing, this recording is superb. Britain's Exon Singers, based in the small town of Tavistock described in Conan Doyle's "Silver Blaze," are small in number but delivers a sound that is simultaneously rich and precise, with clear text enunciation and an uncanny sense of involvement with the texts (all given in Latin and English). There is none of the stultifying sense of convention sometimes associated with Renaissance choral performances from Britain, and in all, for an introduction to the increasingly often performed music of Victoria, the listener will find that this disc stands up to any of the fine Spanish issues available.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/27/2005
Label: Delphian
UPC: 0801918340253
catalogNumber: 34025


  1. Deus, In Adjutorium
  2. Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109), for 8 voices
  3. Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 112), for 8 voices & organ
  4. Ave Maria, gratia plena, motet for 8 voices & organ
  5. Laetatus sum (Psalm 121), for 12 voices & organ
  6. Ne timeas, Maria, motet for 4 voices
  7. Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), for 8 voices & organ
  8. Work(s): Ecce virgo concipiet, little chapter / Angelus Dom
  9. Ave maris stella, hymn for 4 voices
  10. Magnificat Primi toni (all), for 8 voices & organ
  11. Work(s): Dominus vobiscum, versicle and response / Deus, qu
  12. Regina coeli, antiphon for 8 voices & organ
  13. Litaniae de Beata Virgine, for 8 voices & organ: Kyrie eleison à 8

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