Lobo: Versa est in luctum

August 3, 2011

I think I have remarked before how difficult it is to find good quality videos of competent performances of medieval and renaissance music. They do pop up occasionally, however, and here is a splendid example.

Alonso Lobo is not all that well known today, but he was a contemporary of Victoria, and, like him, one of the Spanish masters of the polyphonic style. His motet Versa est in luctum, written in 1598 on the death of Philip II of Spain, has been recorded quite a few times. It is sung here by a group called Continuum, of which I have never heard before. Where do all these marvellous English choirs come from?

My harp is turned to grieving,
and my music to the voice of those who weep.
Spare me, Lord, for my days are worth nothing.

If an angel were to appear to me and offer me one musical wish, I would wish to be able to stand in a circle with friends and sing this music as well as these gentlemen do. I can imagine few things finer.

Does anyone know where this footage was filmed?

(I have noticed with dismay that I have been posting quite a few videos lately, rather than actually writing something. This is due to a lack of time and to sleep deprivation-related brain damage. Bear with me.)

(Hat-tip: The Chant Cafe)

4 Responses to “Lobo: Versa est in luctum”

  1. Richard Childress Says:

    Hi, I’m Richard Childress, one of the countertenors in Continuum. It’s great to see the many online sites where this viedo has been popping up! The video was recorded in the Church of St John the Evangelist in south London, a Victorian church designed by JL Pearson, who created some of England’s most beautiful sacred spaces

  2. cburrell Says:

    Thanks for answering my question, and thanks for making such wonderful music come to life so beautifully!

  3. Richard Childress Says:

    Our pleasure! We hope to have two more videos up soon on the youtube channel (music by Victoria and Ribera). There is also a Facebook page for the ensemble if you’d like to keep up with things as they happen.

  4. cburrell Says:

    Terrific. I’ve just subscribed to your YouTube channel, and I’ll be looking for your video as it appears.

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