Tomás Luis de Victoria: Conditor alme siderum

During Advent, our congregation often sings the hymn, “Creator, of the stars of light,” as our Sequence Hymn. As the name of the hymn’s tune suggests, this hymn is based on the 7th-century Latin hymn Conditor alme siderum.

Victoria’s setting was written for four vocal parts. It includes all six verses of the Latin original, and alternates between plainchant (in the odd-numbered verses) and polyphony (in the even-numbered verses). This alternation was a very common compositional form in the Renaissance.

Here is a performance of Victoria’s motet sung by Ensemble Nobiles.