The death of Empress Maria of Austria, daughter of emperor Charles V and sister of Phillip II, on February 26, 1603 in Madrid was the occasion for solemn royal funeral rites, which were considered “the most sumptuous and solemn that had ever been seen in Spain“. The music performed during the funeral of the highly cultured Empress, composed by Victoria, combines plainsong with polyphony, as well as plainchant.
Since 1996, La Stagione Armonica has been led by Sergio Balestracci, presently its artistic director. Specialising in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, they have worked with acclaimed artists such as Anthony Rooley, Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Ottavio Dantone, Reinhard Goebel as well as instrumental groups such as Hesperion XX, Il Giardino Armonico, Accademia Bizantina and Venice Baroque Orchestra.
Recorded 2002 (formerly available from Symphonia).