P02, 1576
Thomae Ludovici de Victoria Abvlensis. Collegii Germanici in urbe Roma musicae moderatoris. Liber primus qui missas, psalmos, magnificat, ad Virginem Dei Matrem salutationes, alia q[ue] complectitur. Venetijs apud Angelum Gardanum. Anno. Domini MDLXXVI.


130 numbered pages on one side only. 23 x 13 cm.

Dedicated to: Ernest of Bavaria, Count of the Palatinado and Rheno.


Cover: image from the specimen at the Centre de Documentació de l'Orfeó Català, Barcelona, (Spain).


Tomas Luis de Victoria, master of music at the German College in Rome addresses sincerely to Ernesto’s grace, Earl of the Palatinate of the Rhine, Prince of both Bavarias and trustworthy administrator of Freising and Hildesheim churches.

In fact, following several and important reasons, I pretended, my dear Prince, these  my works, whatever their sort is, saw the light under your highest name. Some of these works are shared with somebody else, others belong completely to me.

According to everybody’s thoughts, I should say I am following the interest in your honesty, generosity, liberalism, intelligence, scholarship, kindness, and all the rest of your qualities, together with my concern for your soul and the wish to build a remembrance of your keenness.

I could have been really honest, but I am afraid I might sound too easily influenced instead of obeying my own feelings. Hence I must put my personal reasons on record, not to look ungrateful.

To tell the truth, the one who spent some time as a master of music at the college which was founded with a religious aim to educate German youngsters in the best subjects and in the pious habits by Gregory XIII, the one who, at first, felt at heavens level for his qualities and virtues, now, to be honest, for his dignity and position, to whom would he better and fairer address the fruits of his talent than to that who looks to shine divinely as a new light making the whole Germany illustrious?

Why, therefore, if in the old times, zithers, lyres, lutes and other similar musical instruments were used to pay tribute to Apollo, would these musical works likewise pay tribute in our time to somebody else than you, no doubt constant in this eagerness? And, in fact, these reasons, although each one could have been enough for anybody,  must be considered as a whole impelling myself at the same time.

You are already aware, my grace, of the way I have chosen the shade –to call it in a word- of your protection so that the fruit of my art and talent stays peaceful under it.

Receive that on your happy face, with which you provide joy to every single thing you watch and has already been watched by the rest; make it also sure by this proof that there is no better sense of mind than, when you are offered something, to consider the offer very pleasant and satisfactory.




Translation: Carmen Jerez Cid


[Digital dedicatory access]

Image from the specimen at Biblioteca del Orfeó Catalá, Barcelona (Spain).

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Preserved specimens (Cramer/RISM)