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Tomas Luis de Victoria

Tomas Luis de Victoria was the leading Spanish composer of the late sixteenth century and one of the most important composers of the period. Born in Avila in 1548, he left Spain c. 1565 to study in Rome where he remained as a church musieian for some twenty years, entering the priesthood in 1575. He returned to Spain c. 1585, having been appointed to the post of Master of the convent choir of the Philip ll's sister in Madrid, and he continued in the service of the Chapel until his death in 1611.

His music displays a complete mastery of the 'Palestrina' style of imitative counterpoint although he adopted a more flexible approach to matters of musical grammar and melodic writing. His distinctively intense style combines both optimism and poignancy suggestive of his Spanish origins and temperament. He may well have been taught by Palestrina whose funeral at old St Peter's he attended in February 1594.

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