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Victoria: Regina Caeli

Here’s a hint: It’s a gem from the Spanish Palestrina.

The Renaissance was a very special time in the history of music. Future generations of composers would look back to the music of this era for inspiration. Among the most significant composers of the Renaissance was the Spanish composer Tomas Luis de Victoria. Not only was he a great composer of Spanish sacred music, but he was also an ordained priest! Some historians believe that when Victoria went to Rome to enter the monastery, he also began studying with another musical great of the era: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. While the evidence of Victoria’s studying with Palestrina is circumstantial, there’s no doubt that Palestrina’s music had a huge impact on Victoria’s style of composition. In fact, Victoria is often nicknamed “the Spanish Palestrina.” The text of this selection, Regina Caeli, is a devotional prayer to the Virgin Mary.

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