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.
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“In all this mediaeval religious poetry there is much that we could not use now. Many of the hymns are quite bad, many are frigid compositions containing futile tricks, puns, misinterpreted quotations of Scripture, and twisted concepts, whose only point is their twist. But there is an amazing amount of beautiful poetry that we could still use. If we are to have vernacular hymns at all, why do we not have translations of the old ones?”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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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!