Classical Music Library Free Download of the Week

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Every two weeks, Alexander Street offers a free music download from our popular online music collection. This download is freely available, regardless of whether or not your library subscribes to the collection.

O vos omnes by Tomás Luis de Victoria

O vos omnes was written by Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611) in 1572. Victoria was a Spanish composer who lived in both Spain and Italy, where he worked as a singer, organist, and composer and also served as a Catholic priest. No doubt a result of his experience as a choirboy and his devout lifestyle, all of Victoria’s compositions are choral settings of sacred Latin texts. O vos omnes is a motet, a genre of a cappella choral music first written in the medieval era. Renaissance motets were sometimes (in the medieval era, always) founded on an existing Gregorian chant, the vocal line known as the cantus firmus, and at least two other vocal lines were added to create harmony. Often, as in O vos omnes, these three or more vocal lines move at different rhythms, unlike the unified movement of a chorale or hymn. When two or more independent musical lines like this are woven together it is known as polyphony, a radical musical development in the medieval era that resulted in resistance from the Church. 
 
O vos omnes was written for four parts, and as it would have been in Victoria’s time, is performed in this recording by a choir of boys and men. This recording is performed by The Paris National Opera Children’s Choir, Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine, under the direction of Gaël de Kerret.

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