Three Settings of the Ave Regina Caelorum: Lobo, Palestrina and Victoria

Alonso Lobo (1555 – 1617) was a Spanish composer, a near-contemporary of the great Palestrina and Victoria, famous during his lifetime, and considered their equal, or near thereto, even if he has drifted somewhat more into obscurity. But his music – all of it polyphonic and choral, with no instrumental pieces surviving – is ineffably beautiful and masterfully harmonized.

Here, for this first Sunday of Lent, is his setting of the Ave Regina Caelorum, the Marian antiphon for the season:

Compare and complement with the same motet by Palestrina (1525 – 1594):

And a final version by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611), whose life almost perfectly spans Lobo’s: