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Mena, Rivera: Victoria – Et Jesum. Motets for Sdolo Voice (FLAC)

Mena, Rivera: Victoria - Et Jesum. Motets for Sdolo Voice (FLAC)
Mena, Rivera: Victoria – Et Jesum. Motets for Sdolo Voice (FLAC)


Composer: Tomás Luis de Victoria
Performer: Carlos Mena, Juan Carlos Rivera, Francisco Rubio Gallego
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Catalogue: HMG507042
Release: 2010
Size: 257 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: cover

01. Et Jesum
02. Duo Seraphim clamabant
03. O Decus Apostolicum
04. Domine Missa Quam pulchri sunt (solo vihuela)
05. Senex Puerum portabat
06. Magi viderunt stellam
07. Domine, non sum dignus
08. Domine, non sum dignus (solo vihuela)
09. O magnum mysterium
10. Sanctus
11. Benedictus
12. Agnus Dei Missa O magnum mysterium
13. Ne timeas, Maria
14. Pleni sunt Missa Gaudeamus (solo vihuela)
15. Iste Sanctus
16. Estote fortes in bello
17. Alma Redemptoris Mater
18. Domine Deus Missa Gaudeamus (solo vihuela)
19. O quan gloriosum
20. Doctor bonus, amicus Dei
21. Crucifixus Missa Quam pulchri sunt (solo vihuela)
22. Pueri Hebraeorum
23. Salve Regina

Et Jesum presents motets, antiphons, and mass sections by the Spanish Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria, arranged for countertenor voice and accompanying stringed instrument. Both the laud (the Spanish version of the lute) and the more guitar-like vihuela are used by accompanist Juan Carlos Rivera. Rivera and countertenor Carlos Mena, a youthful alumnus of the Savall school, augment arrangements of Victoria’s day with efforts of their own in a similar vein, and it would take a deep specialist indeed to pick out the 400-year-old ones. Victoria’s music was popular all over Europe, and arrangements of his choral music appeared in numerous anthologies of the time, intended for domestic music-making. Of course, those anthologies would have included music by other composers as well; performing 23 Victoria compositions in a row is not really “authentic.” For the casual listener it’s a bit much, but for devotees of the dark-hued, detailed, and hypnotically contemplative music of this devotional master of the Counter Reformation, this is a beautifully executed performance and a very productive way of approaching Victoria. Mena is a lush countertenor who can put a remarkable variety of tension points into a drawn-out long note, and Rivera’s accompaniments are breathtakingly quiet and subtle. The use of the laud contradicts the traditional view that lutes were avoided in Renaissance Spain because of their Arabic associations, but is fully in line with the existence of Victoria lute arrangements originating in other countries. Several pieces are performed in solo laud or vihuela intabulations. Harmonia Mundi’s engineers have notched a major accomplishment here, leaving in just enough performer breathing to give the music an almost tactile sense.

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