Tomás Luis de Victoria, classical music composer

Tomás Luis de Victoria image

Tomás Luis de Victoria


Tomás Luis de Victoria (sometimes Italianised as da Vittoria) was one of the most important composers of the Counter-Reformation. A composer of equal stature with Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso, Victoria was also an accomplished organist and singer. Also being a Catholic priest, he devoted himself to the composition of sacred music. His style, though exemplary of the late 16th century, was contrapuntally freer and less complex than Palestrina's, and is often considered to possess greater emotional intensity than the works of his Italian counterpart. Victoria also employed instruments, which was not uncommon in Spanish sacred music of the time, while some of his works also made use of spatially separated groups of singers, much in the manner of the unique style employed by the composers of the Venetian School.

Victoria was born in Sanchidrián in the province of Ávila, Castile around 1548, the seventh of nine children born to Francisco Luis de Victoria and Francesca Suárez de la Concha. Following his father's death in 1557, he was raised by his uncle, Juan Luis. He was a choirboy in the Ávila Cathedral, and it is surmised from his accomplishments as an organist that he may have begun studying the instrument from an early age.

In 1565, he left for Rome after receiving a grant from Philip II. It is possible Victoria may have studied with Palestrina during this time, yet there is no conclusive evidence to support the claim. Nonetheless, his compositional style was influenced by his tenure in Rome, though always retained its Spanish roots. In the Papal city, he was cantor at the German College founded by St. Ignatius Loyola, and later secured another post at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. When Palestrina left the Seminary, Victoria took over the position of maestro. He was made a deacon, and shortly thereafter, in 1574, was ordained as a priest, working at St. Girolamo della Carità.

Despite his successes in Rome, Victoria ultimately returned to his native country of Spain in 1585, where he served as teacher, organist, and chaplain to the Dowager Empress Maria and her daughter, until the Empress's death in 1603. Considered among Victoria's greatest compositions is the requiem mass he wrote her funeral. Victoria himself died on August 20, 1611.

Composer Title Date Action
Tomás Luis de Victoria O vos omnes, from Tenebrae Responsories 12/31/2012 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria O magnum mysterium, from the Mass O magnum mysterium 02/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria Versa est in luctum, from Missa Pro defunctis II 02/08/2014 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria Vere languores 04/18/2014 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria Vadam et circuibo 04/18/2014 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria Ave Regina Caelorum 04/18/2014 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria Taedet Animam Meam 12/18/2016 Play Add to playlist
Tomás Luis de Victoria Libera Me Domine 12/18/2016 Play Add to playlist