Marian Music From Spain

Album cover art for upc 761203539826
Label: CPO
Catalog: 555398-2

Penalosa Ensemble

On the present recording the Peñalosa Ensemble brings together works by the two composers whose sacred music forms the chronological frame of the Golden Age of Iberian vocal music: its namesake, the Spanish Renaissance composer Francisco de Peñalosa (motets, Magnificat), and Tomás Luis de Victoria (Missa, motets). If Peñalosa may be said to belong to the first generation of composers who assimilated the Franco-Flemish style of Josquin Desprez, then Victoria’s death in 1611 symbolically closed the Iberian Renaissance through the adoption of Italian influences from the Age of Mannerism. The unique, highly emotional manifestation of Iberian Marian piety also influenced both composers – just as it also left its imprint on the visual arts in Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Compositions by Tomás Luis de Victoria not only experienced successful, rapid, and continuous dissemination over the whole of Europe owing to what was beyond any doubt their sublime quality but also received additional impetus from printed editions of music – so that his music was interpreted without interruption until the nineteenth century and was elevated to the status of a symbol standing for an entire musical epoch.

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