Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


uncommon intelligence, imagination and textual awareness...



Motet Notes

O quam gloriosum - Tomás Luis da Victoria (1548-1611)

O Quam Gloriosum, by Spanish Renaissance composer Victoria, was published in 1572. It is a brief expression of the composer’s talent for drama – albeit pure and appropriately restrained – in the setting of a text for use on All Saints Sunday. His exquisite motets are generally short, stark, largely homophonic works that reveal the influence of Palestrina, with whom he studied. The material for this motet was recast as a parody mass of the same title.
The opening chord progression depicts the joyful mystery of transfiguration into the afterlife.  A rather literal and vivid use of text painting is employed on the word sequuntur (“they follow”), as the vocal entries imitate each other in succession, like lambs. The comforting imitation continues as the Saints are led to their eternal home.

© Ryan Turner