Tomás de Victoria’s tribute to the Virgin Mary. Take this one in.
From the Saturday Chorale:
One aspect of the cult of the Virgin Mary was its appropriation of texts from the Canticum Canticorum (Song of Songs) with its often very sensual imagery of love converted to serve the cult of the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The motet Vidi speciosam is an example of one such text being used in this way. The text is from the Song of Songs and its lines describing the beloved as having ‘gone up from the desert’ like a column of incense would have been seen as perfect for use during the Feast of the Assumption (15th August) and that indeed is what it is, it’s a Responsory at Matins on the Feast of the Assumption. … Vidi speciosam‘s text – a Hebrew love poem is both beautiful and sensual and this language was taken over from the Latin translation of the Vulgate into music by Victoria whose purpose in setting it was to musically portray the Virgin ascending into heaven rising like a dove over the rivers or a column of incense laden smoke delciously perfumed ‘surrounded by roses and lilies of the valley’.