Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Tomas Luis Victoria: God's Composer
The BBC have a rather wonderful programme about Tomas Luis Victoria: God's Composer.
I hadn't realised St Theresa of Avila had actually written a reference for him, in fact I hadn't ralised he grew up in Avila, he seems to have been one of her many proteges. He would have associated with her other proteges like St John of the Cross, he was also a contemporary of El Greco.
In a world, even a Church, where beauty is so often held in contempt and everything seems to take on a certain uniform beigeness it is interesting to reflect on the extra-ordinary nature of the time of Victoria and his associates, his time in Rome I knew a little about, though it is hardly mentioned in the programme. He was an associate of St Philip Neri, he presumably knew St Ignatius, St Camillus de Lellis, he would have sang for and composed for St Pius V.
Holiness flourishes where there is holiness and where there is a general desire for excellence, external and internal beauty and even extravagance. The saints and artists, and saintly artists of the 16th century captured hearts and minds and formed a culture of beauty.
Do we have anything to learn from this extraordinary time, or is it just to be consigned to the museum?
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