Universal Spain have, over recent years, been releasing new recordings of works by the Spanish Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611), who stands alongside Palestrina and Lassus as one of the greatest composers of his age.
The recordings were made by highly-regarded British Early Music group Ensemble Plus Ultra under Michael Noone (“a crack squad” –Early Music Today), who won critical acclaim for CDs of Morales and other Spanish composers on the Glossa label (“breathtakingly beautiful” – BBC Radio 3, CD Review).
Altogether, 10 CDs of Victoria’s works have been released (the final two as recently as May 2011). Now we have seized the opportunity, in the year when we commemorate the 400th anniversary of Victoria’s death (27 August), to bring all of these recordings together in a single box that forms a remarkable wide-ranging compendium of works mainly from the Madrid period of his life (1586–1611).
It is undoubtedly the largest collection available of Victoria’s music, with over 90 works on the 10 CDs, including three masses and six Magnificats never previously recorded – as well as many of the favourite motets and masses of the Victoria canon.
These recordings have never before been available outside Spain.
“The 11 hours of music on offer represent both a sizeable portion and a representative sample of Victoria's output....the Missa Ave Maris Stella boasts a particularly fine reading - lucid and sure-footed, with none of the parts having to stray outside their registral comfort zones. Slightly later is the famous setting of O quam gloriousum, one of the clearerer instances of Noone's attempt to blow some cobwebs off the ethereal vision of the composer.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011