Sebastián de Vivanco – O Rex gloriae a 8

Sebastián de Vivanco’s (1551-1622) double-choir motet O Rex gloriae. This work comes from his 1610 book of motets, printed in Salamanca. Here it is performed by Capilla Flamenca, dir. Dirk Snellings, and Oltremontano with their sackbutts and cornetts – a great recording, as is the rest of the CD that features many works from this book.

Portuguese composer Estêvão de Brito (c.1575-1641), that in 1613 enters the service of Málaga Cathedral as maestro di capilla, also has a double-choir motet with the same text setting. Unfortunately there is no recording yet available of this work, which I’ve sung a couple of years ago (together with his Missa pro Defunctis) at Évora Cathedral in the International Workshop “Évora Cathedral Music School”, directed by Peter Philips.

Brito’s work is very powerful and, in comparison with Vivanco’s, with much more rhythmical diversity, using very short note values, and with an amazingly fast interchange between the two choirs. I sincerely hope to make a recording of this work someday… it’s really worth a try!

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