Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761.html Wed, 24 Jul 2024 19:19:18 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Tallis - Spem in Alium (David Hill) [1990] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/9529-tallis-spem-in-alium-latin-church-music-2003.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/9529-tallis-spem-in-alium-latin-church-music-2003.html Tallis - Spem in Alium (David Hill) [1990]


1. O salutaris hostia
2. In ieiunio et fletu
3. Salvator mundi (I)
4. In manus tuas Domine
5. Salvator mundi (II)
6. The Lamentations of Jeremiah (I)
7. O sacrum convivium
8. O nata lux de lumine
9. Te lucis ante terminum
10. The Lamentations of Jeremiah (II)
11. Spem in alium

Timothy Byram-Wigfield - organ
Winchester Cathedral Choir
David Hill – conductor

 

This recording has a huge advantage over most of its rivals for the attention of Tallis listeners: the wonderful acoustics of Winchester Cathedral. In this magnificent space, the soaring lines and resplendent harmonies of Tallis's greatest masterpieces find sympathetic resonance, resulting in a heightened dramatic presence that takes the music beyond earthly confines. Of course, beyond the exceptional quality of the writing, credit must go to the phenomenal men and boys of Winchester Cathedral Choir. Where, even in England, does one find trebles who sing with more assuredness, musicality, and beauty of tone? With a repertoire including "In ieiunio et fletu," "Salvator mundi," "In manus tuas," "The Lamentations of Jeremiah," "O nata lux," and the unbelievable 40-part motet "Spem in alium," this is the Tallis disc to own if you're buying only one. ---David Vernier, amazon.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Fri, 24 Jun 2011 18:42:19 +0000
Tallis - Spem in Alium (Phillips) [2001] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/16106-tallis-spem-in-alium-phillips-2001.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/16106-tallis-spem-in-alium-phillips-2001.html Tallis - Spem in Alium (Phillips) [2001]

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1. Spem in alium (40-voice motet)
2. Sancte Deus
3. Salvator Mundi, Salva Nos 1
4. Salvator Mundi, Salva Nos 2
5. Gaude Gloriosa
6. Miserere Nostri
7. Loquebantur Variis Linguis

Tallis Scholars
Peter Phillips – conductor

 

Thomas Tallis died on 23 November 1585 - 400 years ago - of which event this recording is, in part, a commemoration. He was buried in the chancel of the parish church of St Alphege, Greenwich, which was subsequently (1711-1714) rebuilt and Tallis's epitaph lost. By the time of his death he owned a house in Greenwich, and his will discussed quite substantial legacies. Having been the acknowledged master of the composers of the Chapel Royal at least from Queen Mary's reign onwards, we may imagine that he was able to live comfortably.

Spem in alium, a 40-voice motet for eight five-part choirs, is certainly the most fluent of all the multi-choral works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Comparison could be made with Striggio's 40-part Ecce beatam lucem; Josquin's 24-part Qui habitat in adiutorio; the 36-part Deo gratias believed to be by Ockeghem; Giovanni Gabrieli's relatively modest 19-part Buccinate in neomenia and Robert Carver's 19-part O bone Iesu; or the 54-part Missa Salisburgensis thought to be by Biber. Some of these are largely chordal (Striggio, Gabrieli, Biber); the rest heavily polyphonic (Josquin, Ockeghem, Carver). Tallis carefully and expertly blended the two possibilities, beginning with polyphony, using homophony for the important words 'Domine Deus, creator caeli et terrae', and finishing again with 40-part counterpoint. There is no sense that this is some kind of academic exercise, and little feeling that the number of voice-parts is excessive to what Tallis was trying to express. If, in trying to avoid consecutive octaves, some of the voices in the forty-part sections seem to be hopping aimlessly about an arpeggio, they are still contributing to the sheer weight of sound, which has an eloquence of its own. The other advantage of having so many choirs is that of polychoral or stereophonic effects between them.

No-one is certain what prompted Tallis to write this piece or why he chose 40 voice parts. The simplest explanation is that he was taking the number 40, often presented in the Bible as having a mystical significance. It has been suggested that Spem in alium was designed to celebrate the 40th birthday of a reigning monarch (either Mary's in 1556 or Elizabeth I's in 1573). A firmer hypothesis attributes the idea of a 40-voice motet to Alessandro Striggio, who was in London in 1567, and probably had with him the score of Ecce beatam lucem - his own 40-part piece. Perhaps Tallis was impressed and challenged by this. Denis Stevens goes further with the suggestion, and believes that Spem was first performed in the Long Gallery of Arundel House in London in 1570 or 1571, commissioned by the Duke of Norfolk. The performers were a choir of men and probably boys directed by the composer, with the vocal lines reinforced by instruments at will. It was a secular occasion, but Tallis had himself chosen a respond text, referring to the meaning of hope and the absolution of sins, to make a point to Queen Elizabeth, who was then involved with the suppression of the Catholic church, of which Tallis was still a member.

Sancte Deus was an early work, a votive antiphon written in Henry VIII's reign before the Reformation, and yet showing reformatory inclinations. Whereas votive antiphons were usually laudatory texts addressed to the Virgin Mary, Sancte Deus is a penitential text addressed to Jesus. The music, in four parts, is more succinct than Marian pieces used to be: a rare, Taverner-esque, blend of old and new.

The two settings of the text Salvator mundi, salva nos are quite compact, after the manner of compositional practice in Elizabeth I's reign. The text itself is an antiphon proper to the Matins of the Exaltation of the Cross. The second setting incorporates a canon, clearly audible, between the mean and the tenor parts, the tenor following the mean by eight beats.

Gaude gloriosa is colossal in a different way from Spem in alium. It is of quite unusual length and general magnificence, which Tallis planned and shaped with all his customary craftsmanship. His chosen antiphon text imposed a certain pattern on him: it has nine invocations to the Virgin, each beginning 'Gaude', out of which Tallis makes eight musical sections. But the choice of scoring is entirely his own, building up slowly through the opening two solo passages for three voices each - the second of them acquires a fourth singer as it goes by - to the first long full section for six-part choir, which takes in two occurrences of the word 'Gaude'. This is followed by a double gimell (both the treble and mean parts are split) joined by a bass, traditionally a highly-charged arrangement of the parts. This is the centre of the piece, the keystone from which the others radiate. The trio for two countertenors and tenor is deliberately subdued; the following full section, the shortest, then affords a change in texture before a beautiful verse for mean, countertenor and two basses. This in itself has a pleasing balance: quite syllabic text-setting leading up to the final soaring melisma on the word 'liberati', which is also a piece of word-painting. The final full-section accumulates momentum slowly, culminating once in the rising phrase ('adesse caelorum regnum') and again in the 'Amen' with all the parts and especially the trebles peaking on unusually high notes. As for its date of composition, Paul Doe has decided that the piece 'is addressed to Queen Mary, extolling her as a restorer of the true faith' . By her reign (1553-1558) it would have sounded deliberately and acceptably old-fashioned.

The seven-part Miserere is a technical tour-de-force, rare in Tallis. It belongs - at one remove, since it has no chant - to the English tradition of canonic Miserere settings, pure demonstrations of technical skill. This piece is a canon six in two with a free tenor, which is to say that there are two canonic melodies, one sung by the two mean parts and the other shared between the four other canonic voices. The two means sing a normal, close canon at four beats distance, which is easily audible. The first countertenor has a melody which is also sung by three other voices starting simultaneously - one in double augmentation (the second countertenor); one inverted and augmented (the second bass); and another inverted and in triple augmentation (the first bass). It is a most effective tribute to the power of Tallis's imagination.

Loquebantur variis linguis is a respond on the plainchant for Vespers at Pentecost, and scored for seven voices (MMAATBB) with the chant in the tenor. These voices are contained within a compass of twenty notes, which gives a complex sound, perhaps intended to represent the excited apostles trying out their newly acquired fluency in speech all at once. --- Peter Phillips, gimell.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Sat, 31 May 2014 16:04:43 +0000
Tallis - The Christmas Mass (Missa Puer Natus Est Nobis) [2001] http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/18979-tallis-the-christmas-mass-missa-puer-natus-est-nobis-2001.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/18979-tallis-the-christmas-mass-missa-puer-natus-est-nobis-2001.html Tallis - The Christmas Mass (Missa Puer Natus Est Nobis) [2001]

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1. Missa Puer Natuus Est Nobis: Gloria
2. Missa Puer Natuus Est Nobis: Sanctus & Benedictus
3. Missa Puer Natuus Est Nobis: Agnus Dei
4. Audivi Vocem
5. Magnificat (Four Voices)
6. Ave, Dei Patris Filia

The Tallis Scholars - Choir/Chorus
Paul Agnew - Tenor 
Philip Cave - Voices
Stephen Charlesworth -Bass
Robert Harre-Jones - Alto
Ruth Holton - Treble
Robert Johnston - 
Michael Lees - Alto
William Missin - Alto
Adrian Peacock - Bass
Deborah Roberts - Treble
Francis Steele - Bass
Caroline Trevor - Alto
Julian Walker – Bass

 

Tallis's Mass Puer natus est nobis, based on the Christmas plainchant of the same name, is the most elaborate setting of the Ordinary to come from England in the middle of the 16th century; it is also by far the most elaborate by Tallis himself. Its scale is determined by the way the plainchant is distributed through the polyphony. This is done in quite exceptionally long notes, always in the tenor, in a style which had been popular in England (and elsewhere) early in the century but of which no example from later than about 1540 is otherwise known. The cantus firmus thus makes the movements lengthy in performance; but Tallis's music is also substantial vertically, requiring an unusual choir of seven voices, scored mean, mean, alto, alto, tenor, bass, bass. Since all these voices are used almost continuously - there are no scorings down to trios and quartets as was customary in earlier festal masses - the cumulative effect really is massive. In our interpretation we have encouraged this in-built sonority to speak for itself by making the phrases as spacious as possible.

There can be no doubt that Tallis wrote this piece for a big occasion. Although there is no conclusive proof, the evidence of the choice of chant, the archaicising in having a long-note cantus firmus against the dramatically more modern (and Flemish) use of imitation between the voices, and the sheer scale, suggests it was composed for the visit of Philip II of Spain to England in 1554, when he married Queen Mary. It is known that Philip was in the country on Christmas Day and it is well known that English Catholics were hoping Mary would give birth to a son and heir (so the words Puer natus est nobis probably had a double relevance). But for Tallis perhaps the most significant aspect of the festivities was that Philip had brought with him his famous Capilla Flamenca, or Flemish Chapel Choir. This would have put Tallis very considerably on his professional mettle, since it contained some of the leading names in Flemish composition, including Philippe de Monte. He chose to impress them by combining old techniques with new in a virtuoso mix; he also preferred a thick, essentially Flemish sonority over the more traditionally spacious English scoring involving the high treble voice, which he did make use of in other music dating from Mary's reign. The strong Flemish references in Puer natus est nobis were surely deliberate.

Despite the discoveries of recent years which have rendered Puer natus est nobis complete enough to perform in three of its movements, the Credo is still almost wholly missing (apart from the final phrase from "Et expecto"). Of the others the Gloria is entire but the Sanctus is lacking its second alto in the opening section. The Agnus Dei is the least complete, missing the second alto throughout and the first bass during the first two invocations. These parts were supplied by David Wulstan and Sally Dunkley. Missing also is a rational explanation for why Tallis broke the Puer natus est nobis plainchant up as he did to form the cantus firmus. As Wulstan and Dunkley observe, its tones are:

"neither given in long notes of equal value, nor in decorated form. Instead they are arranged rhythmically according to a cabalistic pattern, the significance of which is difficult to discern". ---Peter Phillips, gimell.com

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Sat, 26 Dec 2015 16:17:56 +0000
Thomas Tallis - Missa Salve intemerata, O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit etc (2012) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/20587-thomas-tallis-missa-salve-intemerata-o-lord-give-thy-holy-spirit-etc-2012.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/20587-thomas-tallis-missa-salve-intemerata-o-lord-give-thy-holy-spirit-etc-2012.html Thomas Tallis - Missa Salve intemerata, O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit etc (2012)

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01. O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit
02. Missa Salve intemerata - 1. Gloria
03. Missa Salve intemerata - 2. Credo
04. Missa Salve intemerata - 3. Sanctus
05. Missa Salve intemerata - 4. Benedictus
06. Missa Salve intemerata - 5. Agnus Dei
07. 9 Psalm Tunes - No.1. Man blest no doubt
08. I call & cry to thee
09. If ye love me
10. Domine, quis habitabit
11. A new commandment
12. Alleluia, Ora pro nobis
13. 9 Psalm Tunes - No.2. Let God arise
14. Salve intemerata virgo

The Cardinall's Musick
Andrew Carwood – conductor

 

The three short pieces in English—If ye love me, A new commandment and the exquisite O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit—show Tallis writing for the reformed rites of Edward VI and Elizabeth (who reinstated Edward’s First Prayer Book of 1549 when she came to the throne). O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit, a setting of a prayer published in 1566, obviously dates from the time of Elizabeth I. --- hyperion-records.co.uk

 

'In the light of such versatility and consistent quality, I'd say that Tallis deserves to be still more highly rated than he is. These are commendably committed, full-blooded performances … as for Salve intemerata, they make as good a case for it as I can recall. More, please' ---(Gramophone)

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Sun, 30 Oct 2016 15:51:33 +0000
Thomas Tallis - Queen Katherine Parr & Songs of Reformation (2017) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/22907-thomas-tallis-queen-katherine-parr-a-songs-of-reformation-2017.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/22907-thomas-tallis-queen-katherine-parr-a-songs-of-reformation-2017.html Thomas Tallis - Queen Katherine Parr & Songs of Reformation (2017)


1.Gaude gloriosa Dei mater	17:01 	
2.When Jesus Went (Salvator mundi II)	2:16 	
3.O Lord, Give Thy Holy Spirit		2:20 	
4.Hear the Voice and Prayer		3:03 	
5.Purge Me, O Lord		1:49 	
6.Solfing Song		2:36 	
7.Verily, Verily I Say unto You		1:49 	
8.If Ye Love Me		2:11 	
9.O Lord, in Thee Is All My Trust	2:37 	
10.Libera nos	1:52 	
11.Litany	16:29 	
12.Fantasia (O sacrum convivium)	4:29 	
13.Se Lord and Behold	16:58 

Alamire - Choir, Vocal Ensemble
Fretwork - Ensemble
David Skinner - Conductor

 

In 1978 an extraordinary discovery was made behind plasterwork in the walls of Corpus Christi College, Oxford: music from Thomas Tallis s grandest motet Gaude gloriosa, but with unidentified English words (see attached image). The discovery remained more or less dormant until David Skinner recently identified the text as being by none other than Henry VIII s sixth and last queen Katherine Parr. The words are from her psalm paraphrase Against Enemies in her first publication Psalms or Prayers, published in London in 1544. Parr s work was published in tandem with Thomas Cranmer s Litany, which was the first departure from the Roman rite in Henry s reign, though we have known very little of its actual liturgical use until now.

All was part of Henry s famous war effort against the Scots and French in 1544; the English Litany was adopted so that the population might stand up and pray the King into battle and for the first time in English later that summer. Skinner has also discovered that the Litany, Parr s text (set to music by Tallis), alongside the composer s 5-part Litany (also now to be performed in the Festival) were first performed following an elaborately orchestrated series of events at St Paul s Cathedral, London, which culminated on 23 May 1544 with a procession and sermon. Queen Katherine Parr, via the Chapel Royal singers, acted as Henry VIII s mouthpiece with her evocative war-like text See, Lord, and behold , with sentiments such as they are traitors and rebels against me and let the wicked sinners return unto hell, and let them fall and be taken down into the pit which they have digged ! For the first time we can now suggest a specific date which marks the beginning of the English liturgical reformation 23 May 1544 at St Paul s Cathedral which quite predates the introduction of the First Book of Common Prayer in 1549.

These discoveries are not only significant for cultural historians, but also fundamentally challenge our perceptions of Tallis s music and chronology which have hitherto been fixed in their essentials for nearly half a century. We also have new insight into the role of a Tudor queen in Henry s court politics. The musical Reformation seems to have come to England somewhat earlier than anticipated. Many fascinating avenues for further research, both musicological and historical, have opened up for the years to come. ---David Skinner, amazon.com

 

English composer Thomas Tallis witnessed dramatic changes of religion under four monarchs, and his career accordingly represents the development of polyphonic church music in Renaissance England. Along with his student and fellow Roman Catholic, William Byrd, Tallis was one of the earliest composers to publish music under royal patent in England, and his works demonstrated the shifting doctrines and styles of liturgy in the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. This 2017 Obsidian release features one piece with a text by Henry VIII's sixth and last wife, Katherine Parr, which gives the album its title, though the mix of Roman Catholic and Anglican pieces on the program suggests that "songs of Reformation" may be seen as one-sided. In any case, the performances by the vocal ensemble Alamire and the viol consort Fretwork put the emphasis on Tallis and his varied output, rather than on the theological preferences of royalty. The result is a well-balanced portrait of Tallis, and his choral music is given transparent textures and clear diction by the 14-voice choir, which maintains independence of parts while offering an evenly blended tone. Fretwork's introspective performances reflect the chamber music of the time, typically composed as free fantasias for viol consort, often based on fragments of chant. Tallis' When Jesus went (Salvator mundi II), the Solfaing Song, and the Fantasia (O sacrum convivium) show Fretwork's polished and affecting playing, which is particularly striking in passages with plangent cross-relations. ---Blair Sanderson, AllMusic Review

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Sun, 21 Jan 2018 14:31:30 +0000
Thomas Tallis - The Complete English Anthems (1986/2001) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/25358-thomas-tallis-the-complete-english-anthems-19862001.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/25358-thomas-tallis-the-complete-english-anthems-19862001.html Thomas Tallis - The Complete English Anthems (1986/2001)

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1 	If Ye Love Me 	2:02
2 	Hear The Voice And Prayer 	3:02
3 	A New Commandment 	2:43
4 	O Lord, Give Thy Holy Spirit 	2:15
5 	Purge Me, O Lord 	1:42
6 	Verily, Verily I Say Unto You 	1:43
7 	Remember Not, O Lord God 	3:42
8 	Tunes For Archbishop Parker's Psalter 	7:52
9 	Out From The Deep 	1:48
10 	O Lord, In Thee Is All My Trust 	2:55
11 	Christ Rising Again 	4:35
12 	Blessed Are Those That Be Undefiled 	3:38

Choir – The Tallis Scholars:
Soprano Vocals – Alison Gough, Deborah Roberts (tracks: 12), Sally Dunkley, Tessa Bonner (tracks: 12) 
Countertenor Vocals – Adrian Hill, Graeme Curry, Robert Harre-Jones, Timothy Wilson
Tenor Vocals – Nicolas Robertson, Rufus Müller 
Bass Vocals – Donald Greig, Francis Steele 
Director – Peter Phillips

 

The Anglican Church, newly founded after the Reformation of the 1540s and ’50s, was fortunate in having a composer of Tallis’s calibre to serve it. He, more that any of his contemporaries, was able to grasp what the Protestant clergy wanted in their church music, and to give that formula life. Essentially, this was intelligibility and clarity in the word-setting, which involved singing in English and keeping the musical style simple. All the anthems recorded here have this simplicity yet, despite the dogmatic restrictions on their musical elaboration, they maintain a high artistic standard. The repertoire of Anglican music before Byrd would look a lot more bleak without them.

The underlying principle of the Protestant clergy was to make worship as comprehensible and as immediate for the congregation as possible. This involved every aspect of the liturgy (including moving the altar, called the ‘table’, from the east end to a central position – not at all dissimilar in spirit or effect to recent reforms of liturgical procedure). Music was considered as only a minor part of the whole, though only in Edward VI’s reign (1547–1552) was it seriously affected. Some of these pieces by Tallis come from those years, the remainder come from the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, when it seemed as though she would take up afresh the austere style of the extreme Protestants. When Tallis discovered that she was not going to do this, he went back to setting Latin texts. One peculiarity of this English-texted repertoire is the number of pieces in ABB form, that is to say with the last bars of a binary piece exactly repeated. This is the case with A new commandment, Hear the voice and prayer, If ye love me, O Lord, give thy holy spirit, Out from the deep and Purge me, O Lord. No one is sure why this came about. Peter le Huray (in Music and the Reformation in England, 1967, p.181) says that ‘repetition forms were much used abroad, but this structure seems to have been one of the rarer ones’. A possible reason is that the composers instinctively wished to emphasize the words by repetition, catching up the second half of the verbal phrase as preachers sometimes do. This is quite often the spirit given in performance. It is, in fact, a satisfying musical structure, giving possibilities of varying the dynamic for the repeat, and there may be no more to its popularity than these practical reasons.

Of the four-part pieces, three are for men’s voices only – scored for two countertenors, tenor and bass – and are the best known. If ye love me and Hear the voice and prayer are perfect examples of their kind, the second a little more protracted that the first, but both beautifully concise. A new commandment is less well known, perhaps because the bass part has had to be reconstructed, but it is just as fine and deserves as high a place in the repertoire as the other two have achieved.

The other four-part pieces are for the more usual choir of MATB. The simplest of them – O Lord, in thee is all my trust and Remember not, O Lord God – are little more than harmonizations of a melody. In the case of O Lord, in thee the characterful tune first appeared in Sternhold and Hopkins’ Psalter of 1562 and is set in three verses. The music shows in the clearest way Tallis’s capacity for uncomplicated tonal thought. Remember not was built on an earlier and simpler setting of the same text by Tallis, so that this version is probably early Elizabethan (c.1560). In this piece more than any other, the layout is an exercise in repetition of phrases. This can be very beautiful, especially in the repeat of the words ‘for thy name’s sake’.

Verily, verily I say unto you and the Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker’s Psalter extend this idiom slightly, though there is still no real attempt at independent part-writing. Verily, verily is a powerful setting, with dramatic rests after the most important words. The eight Tunes and the 'Ordinal' were written to metrical versions of the Psalms by the first Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew Parker. Amongst their number are two which have achieved a wider circulation than the others: the third contains the melody on which Vaughan Williams based his Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis for string orchestra; and the eighth is Tallis’s ‘Canon’, the canon itself worked between the soprano and tenor parts with the tenor leading.

The most elaborate four-part pieces are O Lord, give thy holy spirit, Out from the deep and Purge me, O Lord. Though none is exactly expansive, there is a certain amount of counterpoint and imitation between the parts, especially in the repeated B section, which they all have. The first of these is an especially beautiful piece, calm, with all the words carrying their due weight.

There are, in addition, two much more substantial works – Christ rising again for five voices (MAATB) and Blessed are those that be undefiled. Christ rising was either the latest extant English anthem by Tallis or was actually written by William Byrd; there is a dual attribution in the sources. Stylistically the old method of repeating the phrases is retained, albeit on a more elaborate basis than in any of the four-part pieces. Uniquely in this repertoire, the music has two separated halves, each self-contained and each building to a resonant conclusion. Blessed are those is a freak, scored for the standard pre-Reformation choir of high treble, mean, countertenor, tenor and bass. It even adopts the pre-Reformation compositional format of duos and trios, at least to start with; after a while Tallis decided to make do with simple antiphony between the upper and lower voices. The Gloria contains some of his brightest writing, making as strong a contrast as possible with the contemplative style of the simpler anthems, and culminating in a splendid ‘Amen’. ---Peter Phillips, hyperion-records.co.uk

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Fri, 31 May 2019 12:23:22 +0000
Thomas Tallis: Spem in Alium - Salve Intemerata (2005) http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/2000-tallisaliumsalve.html http://www.theblues-thatjazz.com/en/classical/761-thomastallis/2000-tallisaliumsalve.html Thomas Tallis: Spem in Alium - Salve Intemerata (2005)


[1] Spem in alium (40-voice Motet)      12:14
[2] Salve intemerata (Motet)            23:10

Missa Salve intemerata
[3] Gloria                               6:41
[4] Credo                                7:56
[5] Sanctus                              7:47
[6] Agnus Dei                            5:27

[7] With all our heart                   3:15
[8] Discomfort them, O Lord              6:38
[9] I call and cry to thee, O Lord       4:12

Oxford Camerata
Jeremy Summerly - conductor

 

Thomas Tallis was a composer who inclined toward musical extremes -- or sometimes was pushed toward them. The opening title track of this CD, Spem in alium, is a 40-voice motet for eight five-voice choirs. There's nothing like it in the Renaissance repertory except for an Italian piece to which it was written in answer, as a response to a challenge. A major achievement of Tallis' old age, it is balanced on this recording by an enormous (23-minute) motet, Salve intemerata, by the young Tallis, as well as a later Missa salve intemerata that uses the Renaissance parody technique (a sort of musical paraphrase) as a form of musical self-critique; the material from the motet is gracefully compressed.

When religious winds shifted and Tallis needed to write minimal Anglican music in English, he did that, too. But this beautiful recording by the Oxford Camerata does not include any of Tallis' very simple Anglican pieces, such as the familiar If Ye Love Me. Instead, the three English pieces that close out the disc are all associated in some way with Latin-language Tallis compositions, and they thus occupy an interesting middle ground between the Catholic and Anglican phases of Tallis' career.

For those interested primarily in Spem in alium, this recording makes an excellent choice; director Jeremy Summerly achieves just the right degree of transparency to bring out the incredible richness of contrapuntal detail in a work that too often sounds unwieldy. The sometimes sonically challenged Naxos label has done a superb job this time out. An available SACD disc should be worth the money for those who have good equipment; it should bring out yet more detail that Summerly has aimed at through innovative singer placement. Listeners interested in what a profound masterwork like Spem in alium might reveal about its composer as a younger man -- in the expansive side of Tallis' musical personality -- will find an intelligently chosen program here. And any buyer will get a gorgeous hour of English Renaissance choral singing. ---James Manheim, Rovi

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administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Tallis Thomas Mon, 26 Oct 2009 14:38:39 +0000