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Although Tomás Luis de Victoria began and ended his days in Spain, his biggest influence was Rome, the city of Palestrina, where he lived for more than 20 years, starting in 1565 as a 17-year old student.
The Responsories for Holy Week, the climactic six of which feature on this disc, were composed for a service in which candles are slowly extinguished to mark the progress and suffering of Christ. They have a restrained, introspective character, worlds away from the ecstatic polyphony of better-known renaissance masterpieces. Under Short’s direction, Tenebrae create a sound combining the meticulous, the meditational and the madrigalian.