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About this Piece

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), the greatest composer of Spain's golden age, represents in many respects the culmination of Renaissance contrapuntal arts. The music of Renaissance Spain is inexorably linked with Italy, primarily because so many of Spain's composers traveled there to work and study. Victoria ventured to Rome when he was 16 to study at the Collegio Germanico. It is possible that he was tutored by the great Italian master Palestrina, who was teaching at the nearby Seminario - Victoria was certainly one of the few composers in Rome able to master the subtleties of Palestrina's style. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1575 but continued to compose throughout his life, holding a variety of posts in Italy and, from 1587 until his death, in his native Spain. Victoria's many masses, motets, and other religious compositions brought him a great deal of fame, certainly enhanced by his ability to publish most of his works: All but one of the eight volumes of his Opera omnia consist entirely of music published during his lifetime.

- Joseph Jennings