Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Victoria: Psalms and Motets

YBC rehearsing in December 2015 for Haydn: Creation
A very happy new year to all our followers! Following our ‘sensational’ performance of Haydn Creation in December 2015, we return to the beautiful acoustics of St Michael le Belfrey in the heart of York. The magnificent sonorities and mystical fervour of the Spanish Renaissance unite in a diverse programme of psalm and motet settings by the extraordinary composer Tomás Luis de Victoria. The performance includes a range of musical settings from the joy of his Laetatus sum in 12 parts to the contemplative intensity of his 8-part Salve Regina. 

The range of colours in Victoria’s music is amazing from the tranquil rivers of Babylon in his psalm setting ‘Super flumina Babylonis’ to the lively antiphonal conversations of ‘Nisi Dominus’. To give you a flavour of what you can expect at the concert, here is a YBC recording of the setting of the beautiful, poignant Psalm 136 (By the waters of Babylon):

Victoria: Super Flumina Babylonis
Super flumina Babylonis,
Illic sedimus, et flevimus
dum recordaremur tui Sion.
(By the waters of Babylon,
there we sat down and wept
when we remembered thee, O Zion.)
Illic interrogaverunt nos,
qui captivos abduxerunt nos,
verba cantionum.
(For there they that carried us away captive
required of us a song.)
Quomodo cantabimus
canticum Domini in terra aliena?
(How shall we sing the Lord’s song 
in a strange land?)

For this concert we perform music specially edited for the choir from part books in the British Library for a recording of Victoria which was released in 2002. The recording is available via our website. Underpinned by an organ continuo the concert offers an insight into the life of a fascinating man who was scholar, mystic, priest, singer, organist and composer.

The concert takes place on Saturday 6 February 2016 at St Michael le Belfrey York starting at 7.30pm and tickets priced at £14 (£12 concessions) are available either in advance at the National Centre for Early Music, online here: bit.ly/YBVictoria, or, on the door. Student stand-by tickets - priced at £5 - are available at the door 10 minutes before the start of the concert.

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