Friday, March 21, 2008

Tenebrae '08 Lamentation 1 by T.L. de Victoria

John Polhamus writes: "In 1990 I founded the first incarnation of the Tomas Luis de Victoria Choir of San Diego, the area's first all professional (or at least all thoroughly trained) exclusively polyphonic vocal ensemble. At that time there was no liturgical function for the group, and it was heard only in concert for only one year. Works performed that all too short season were the Josquin dez Prez "Missa Pange Lingua", the Vaughn-Williams "Mass in g minor", the Monteverdi "Mass for four voices", and various motets by Palestrina, Victoria, and Bruhier. It was a proud achievement for the time, although I was admittedly rather young and wouldn't have known how to take a polyphonic ensemble into the third-dimension of Traditional liturgical employment.

When I returned from London in 2001, and the activities of Chorus Breviarii and now the Brothers of the Little Oratory came to require polyphony, the current roster of singers inherited the name of the Victoria Choir, and continue to go from strength to strength, although all too sporadically, usually on a bare-bones minimum of rehearsal time, and at far too little recompense. I sincerely hope that if we are one day graced with an religious Oratory, every one of these intrepid singers will find with all the full-time choral employment that the liturgy demands.

Enjoy these three polyphonic settings of the Lamentations of Jeremias, as heard live at Tenebrae of Holy Thursday on Wednesday evening, 19 March 2008. Thanks be to God for their enthusiastic efforts. Sancta Caecilia, intercede pro nobis."

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