Tomás Luis de Victoria

Apocryphal Works

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Victoria published a total of 15 collections of music during his life (see section editions). Besides these official editions there are manuscript sources with works attributed to the abulense, but which probably are apocryphal, that is, not really written by Victoria. Let us look at some examples.

Besides these examples, there are many more manuscript sources with works supposedly by Victoria. An exhaustive list is in the wonderful book by professor Eugene Casjen Cramer Tomás Luis de Victoria, a guide to research (see section bibliography).

My personal opinion

Since our composer is such a popular musician, in his own time as well as today, is understandable that when a composition of unknown authorship appears in any rediscovered manuscript, there is a temptation attribute it to him. A few years ago a complete mass was found in the Cathedral of Malaga, and the first theory of the investigators who found it was of course that it was composed by our abulense. I do not know what has happened with this mass.

It is true that there are authentic works not listed in the 15 printed editions, for example the 10 Verspers Psalms. But the fact that during his life Victoria published so many re-editions of his own works, makes me suspect that either none of these other pieces is authentic, or they are works of low quality which Victoria did not want to publish. Neverless, we have to bear in mind that in the last years of his life he published almost nothing at all, and it is possible that some works of this late period are only preserved in manuscript.
Nancho Alvarez