Tomás Luis de Victoria was the Spanish composer of the Catholic counterreformation. Most important composers of the Catholic Counter Reformation, which was also known as the Catholic Revival. He has been called the “Spanish Palestrina,” and deity is conjectured that he may have studied with Palestrina. He was an ordained Catholic priest, an organist, as was common to composers of that time, and also a singer. It has been said that his music is reflective of Spanish mysticism of the time. His style is marked by exquisite, overlapping vocal parts and his organ accompaniments are interesting in their own right. His style is more homophonic texture than the polyphonic style known as counterpoint in which each part tends to have interest of its own, hence, “point against point.” He is more free in his use of dissonance without the preparation and resolution that was characteristic of sacred music of the Renaissance. As with the Gabrielli’s, he incorporated instruments in his sacred music. He also used a technique that became common in the Baroque called “word-painting,” in which the composer painted in sound the affect of the words. In the Baroque Period there developed the Doctrine of Affections which recognized that music can affect the emotions, from which certain keys and certain modes became associated with certain affects.
For a sampling of his works, see the following:
O Magnum Mysterium
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