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About the 12th Annual Renaissance Polyphony Weekend

February 8-10, 2002

You are invited to join others interested in sacred Renaissance polyphony for a weekend singing the music of Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548 - 1611). The occasion is the 12th annual Renaissance Polyphony Weekend at the University of Dallas, led by Dr. William Mahrt of Stanford University. The singer's retreat will conclude with a celebrated Latin Mass at St. Luke's Catholic Church, 202 S. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, Sunday, February 10 at 6:00 p.m..

Participants will learn Victoria's Missa Missa O Quam Gloriosum, which will provide the ordinary of the Latin Mass. The retreat choir will also prepare some Gregorian chants and a variety of motets to be sung within the Mass.

Victoria's Mass is based upon his All Saints Day motet, O Quam Gloriosum. This All Saints Day motet represents the glories of heaven with full, rich sonorities; the Mass is one of the composer's favorites because of these rich passages.

Victoria's early career was spent in Rome. After becoming chaplain to the Empress Maria (sister of Philip II of Spain) in about 1580, he returned with her to Spain; in 1596 he was appointed to the prestigious post of director of music at the Convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid.

"One could say Victoria took pride in perfecting himself and his technique, so that there is a surety and a rightness to everything he wrote," Dr. Mahrt said about the composer. "There is a quote in one of his own prefaces, where Victoria writes that he has put himself out to master the technique so that every work is as perfect as it can be."

As a result, "It really is the case that his pieces are perfected down to the last note," he added.

Retreat sessions begin Friday, February 8, at Gorman Hall on the University of Dallas campus; they will continue Saturday morning and afternoon. So that voices do not become fatigued, breaks and/or discussions of the music will occur during rehearsals.

After a Sunday morning rehearsal (for those with no church music commitments) and a Sunday afternoon rehearsal/warmup at UD, retreat participants will sing the Mass at St. Luke's.

All music will be rehearsed and performed a capella. Participants need not be professional singers, but should be proficient readers with a good sense of pitch.

We will follow the Saturday afternoon rehearsal with wine and cheese for all participants.

The weekend retreat is sponsored by the University of Dallas Music Department, Dallas Renaissance and Medieval Music, the Texas Toot, and the Renaissance Polyphony Project.

You may register online, but we must receive your deposit check by postal mail to complete your registration.

For further information, call Susan Barton at 214/327-6823 or email to Please share this information with other interested singers.

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