Sacred Music: God's Composer
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Broadcast on the BBC in December 2011, this celebratory episode of the acclaimed Sacred Music series marks the 400th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest choral composers of the Renaissance. Interwoven with Victoria's music, the documentary fol
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As beautiful as Palestrina's music was, Christophers explains, there was a certain "restraint" (in comparison to Victoria's) in terms of the emotional "spectrum" (or palate, if you prefer) that each composer employed. "There is much more emotion in the music of Victoria," Christophers maintains. From the depths of Hell to the heights of Heaven, we are taken on an emotional "roller-coaster ride" that delights and (at times) terrifies! Of course, one needs to accept this approach to Victoria's music to interpret it "correctly," according to Christophers. Too many ensembles luxuriate in the "pretty" chords, the lovely arching lines (typical of the melodies of Palestrina), rather than sing the text.
Victoria was nothing if not a student of Scripture, and in fact, was a contemporary of the Saint/Mystic, Teresa of Avila. It is speculated (not without grounds, in my opinion), that it is likely that they knew each other, and may have been colleagues. So devout was Victoria, that he became a Priest, and (even more startling), devoted the last years of his life to being an "Enclosed Novicemaster." This meant that he was essentially a "hermit" during his final years, devoting himself to prayer, spiritual direction (of the novices that were in his care), and composition (although no public performances of his music were ever again given, except during Mass at this one Monastery). Droves would flock to the Monastery where he was "enclosed," to hear Mass, and also to once again hear his music performed (keep in mind - there were no recordings for the people to listen to - only live performances).
Christophers considers Victoria's spirituality to be an integral aspect of his music. He goes so far as to state that to fail to properly appreciate the role of spirituality in the music of Victoria is to miss the point of his music entirely. Like Teresa of Avila, Victoria too, was a kind-of Mystic (though in his case, a Mystic/Composer in contrast to Teresa's, Mystic/Writer). It is even speculated that there may have been a kind-of spiritual "mentoring" by Teresa of the devout composer.
The Sixteen outdo themselves on this DVD in terms of sheer beauty of tone, and expansiveness of feeling/expression, performing (in their entirety) several works of Victoria, including, "Super Flumina Babylonis" (for choir), as well as an arrangement of "O Quam Gloriosum" for soprano and lute (heartrenderingly performed by Grace Davidson). This piece alone, is worth the price of the DVD, as it's sheer beauty (literally) took my breath away!
He brings joy and light to Christianity as compared to the heaviness of many of his contemporaries in many of the arts. I bought extra copies for friends. Two of them are seriously ill. The music brought them joy and as well as peace.