About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modem: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

ABOUT US  |  HEADER  |  ARCHIVE
Is Renaissance Music Too Expressive For Holy Mass?
published 20 July 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

ANY GREAT COMPOSERS have set the “Salve Regina.” The version by Tomás Luis de Victoria (d. 1611) is among the finest. In the following excerpt—recorded on YouTube by an excellent group called Genesis Sixteen—consider his gorgeous treatment of the Latin text:

Ad te suspirámus, geméntes et flentes in hac lacrimárum valle.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Victoria uses typical Renaissance “tricks.” For tears, the lugubrious flats are added. Moreover, the mournful descending lines in each voice—one after another—bring home the “sad valley” concept. Sing each “lacrimárum valle” as the music plays:

    * *  Mp3 Excerpt • “Salve Regina” (Genesis Sixteen)

493 Lacrimarum Valle Victoria


It just doesn’t get any better than this, folks!