One of the ways in which de Victoria’s music spread was by transcription. The church of the small provincial town, or the well-off private connoisseur could not hope to fund an entire choir and accompaniment but they could, and did, afford to buy one of the multiplicity of transcriptions of his music which ranged from keyboard to plucked string instruments such as the lute or vihuela. By buying and performing these transcriptions they could share in the music that was performed by the most admired musicians of their time performing in the most prestigious locations. The transcriptions are often very beautiful in their own right as you can hear in the performance below of de Victoria’s motet in honour of the feast Saint Thomas The Apostle O decus apostolicum (O glory of the Apostles). Enjoy :-).
Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): O decus apostolicum (transcr).
|O decus apostolicum, Christe Redemptor gentium, quem Thomas apostolus, tactis cicatricibus, Deum cognovit Dominum:||O glory of the Apostles, Christ, redeemer of the nations, whom Thomas the apostle, by touching your wounds, acknowledged as God and Lord:|
|gregem tuum protege, quem redemisti sanguine. |
|protect thy flock, which thou hast redeemed with thy blood. Alleluia.|
- Carlos Mena – counter-tenor, Juan Carlos Rivera – vihuela.