Purpose and Intent
The music of the Renaissance, being primarily known for its vocal works, is a relatively untapped resource for the modern-day flutist. This quartet arrangement serves the purpose of introducing flutists to a style and genre of music to which they would not otherwise be exposed. This quartet, which is rooted in the vocal tradition, provides a pedagogical tool for teaching chord tuning, pitch control, and phrasing to high school and college flutists. For the professional flutist, this quartet also serves as contrast to the standard flute quartet repertoire. It can be performed on its own or paired with other Renaissance flute quartets.
Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) was a Spanish composer and organist famous for his sacred works. Victoria was one of the leading sacred composers associated with the Catholic Church’s Counter-Reformation. In 1572, Victoria published his first set of motets, which included O magnum mysterium. Later as was the fashion, he used this same motet as the basis for his Missa O magnum mysterium. Victoria created a sense of mysticism in both works through his treatment of dissonances and overlapping harmonies.
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.