7p Requiem Mass

All Souls Day’s evening Mass will feature a choral setting of the Requiem Mass, Offícium Defunctórum à 6, by the Spanish composer, Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548—1611). Born in the province of Avila and later a choirboy in the Avila Cathedral, Victoria became an accomplished organist and singer early in life. He likely studied with Palestrina while a student at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. Victoria was ordained a priest in 1574 and he is regarded as one of the finest composers of sacred music in the late Renaissance, a genre to which he devoted himself exclusively.

Officium Defunctorum is one of the better-known masterpieces of this golden era of polyphony and sets itself apart from much of the repertoire of the era with its smooth, velvety texture. Fragments of the Gregorian melodies of the Requiem appear in the soprano line of every movement and the six-voice texture is only broken three times throughout the work, adding to the overall spaciousness of its aggregate sonority.