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One of my favorite polyphonic pieces by Tomás Luis de Victoria (da Vittoria)( –), based on the hymn by Bernard Clairveaux. Tomás Luis de Victoria. Jesu, dulcis memoria, hymn for 4 voice (spurious). Composition Information ↓; Description ↓; Appears On ↓. Share on. facebook. list of some works attributed erroneously to Victoria. Victoria published a total of 15 collections of music during his life (see section Jesu Dulcis Memoria.

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Jesu, dulcis memoria, hymn for 4 voice (spurious)

The victkria was made by a French dilettante the son of one of Napoleon’s marshals in the late nineteenth century, and attested by Pedrell in the Victoria Opera omnia and several generations of performances.

However, stylistic analysis has shown conclusively that as far as Victoria is concerned, it belongs in “Ye Olde Spuriosity Shoppe. This status notwithstanding, the piece may be appreciated on its own merits. It sets, in a fairly simple manner, the first stanza of a memofia attributed again probably spuriously to St.


The hymn, a centerpiece in Bernard’s reputation as Doctor mellifluous, celebrates the sweetness of Jesus’ presence; in English it ducis usually rendered “Jesus, the very thought of thee. This anonymous setting gives notes only for the first stanza; presumably all the odd stanzas would be sung to this music, with the even ones alternating in plainchant.

The music contains small moments of imitation, but remains primarily homophonic.


The most salient feature of the setting is the richness of harmonic palette, which uses twenty-six accidental inflections in a mere twenty-three breves of music, including a rare D sharp. Whoever composed this little piece certainly understood the proto-Baroque pathos of harmonic language.

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Jesu, dulcis memoria (Tomás Luis de Victoria)

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