Victoria and Palestrina in Rome

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Program: #03-20   Air Date: May 19, 2003


Music in Rome at the end of the 16th century performed by the Orchestra of the Renaissance at the 2002 Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht.

Preservation of this program is made possible by a generous grant from Joe Sandri in honor of his parents Dr. Joseph M. & Lois Sandri, who love music and Saint Cecilia.

NOTE: These performances from the Holland Festival of Early Music at Utrecht 2002 are by the Orchestra of the Renaissance directed by Richard Cheetham.

They are supported in part by Radio Nederland and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C.

This programme presents early work by the Spanish composer Victoria alongside his Italian contemporaries Giovannelli and Palestrina. Victoria was a chorister at the cathedral of Avila and a pupil of the Jesuit college of San Gil. 

When his voice broke he was sent to the Collegio Germanico in Rome, where he wrote his eight-part Super flumina Babylonis in 1573 for a farewell caremony when German students were separated from their Spanish, Italian and English colleagues. 

The grand Salve Regina, likewise for double choir, reflects Roman taste and contrasts with the madrigal-like Nigra sum sed Formosa on a text from the Song of Solomon.

The six-part Missa Gaudeamus is a parody mass based on Jubilate Deo omnis terra by Cristóbal de Morales. One of Victoria's successors at the Collegio Germanico was Ruggiero Giovanelli, a student of Palestrina and later maestro di cappella at St Peter's.

The works on the program reflect two quite different ways in which sacred choral music was performed in Rome: while the a cappella tradition of the Sistine Chapel is familiar, around the corner in St Peter's the singers were actually accompanied by wind instruments on all important festivals. This raises questions on the performance of the music of Palestrina, who was maestro di cappella at St Peter's for the last twenty-three years of his life.

Tomás Luis de Victoria 1548-1611

  1. Salve Regina
    Nigra sum sed formosa a6
    Ardens est cor meum a6 (instrumental version)
    O magnum mysterium a4
    Super flumina Babylonis a8 (twochoir)

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1525/26-1594

  1. Regina caelorum
    Venit Michael archangelus a5 (instr.)

Ruggiero Giovannelli ca.1560-1625

  1. Voce mea (duet)
    Beatus vir

Cristóbal de Morales ca. 1500-1553

  1. Jubilate deo omnis terra a6

Tom√°s Luis de Victoria

  1. Missa Gaudeamus a6

Girolamo Frescobaldi 1583-1643

  1. Recercar cromaticho post il Credo per organo

Tom√°s Luis de Victoria

  1. Missa Gaudeamus
    Prefatio & Sanctus
    Agnus Dei

Composer Info

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), Cristóbal de Morales (ca. 1500-1553), Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611), Ruggiero Giovannelli (ca.1560-1625), Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525/26-1594),

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