The Tallis Scholars Sing Thomas Tallis

The Tallis Scholars Sing Thomas Tallis

by The Tallis ScholarsThe Tallis Scholars




When you see a title like The Tallis Scholars Sing Thomas Tallis, you know the music's going to be right, sort of like when you hear Aretha Franklin sing in Detroit, or hear an oversize band of Central Europeans play Mahler. And so it is. This disc compiles Tallis Scholars recordings from 1985, 1986, 1992, and 1998 for the purpose of, per the jacket, "celebrating the 500th anniversary of Thomas Tallis" (they mean birth, not wedding). The performances are classics, and better still, this reissue is not just about trying to mine continued profits from the same lode: Gimell's decision to release two packed-to-the-max CDs of Tallis Scholars Tallis allows the listener to become immersed in what director Peter Phillips calls Tallis' "ability to create masterpieces in whatever style was the currency of the day." Tallis was (again quoting Phillips) an "arch-survivor," composing dense, sumptuous motets for Catholic rulers, creating beautiful miniatures like the well-known "If Ye Love Me" under the severe regime of early Anglicanism, and summing up his career with major masterpieces like "Spem in alium" under Queen Elizabeth's golden reign. The disc leads off with that mysterious 40-voice motet, which has been recorded in various ways. Phillips leads a mixed (male and female) choir of 40 adults, one to a part, with the music raised a fourth from its notated pitch. This pitch choice has been criticized as inauthentic, but it elicits slightly piercing attacks from Phillips' singers -- just the thing to clarify what's happening in a piece of music with 40 different parts and to forestall an indistinct wash of sound. Tallis' profound "Lamentations of Jeremiah" have been recorded many times, but the version here is perhaps the premier choice from the heart of the English choral tradition. The discs' packaging is handsome (even if Filippo Lippi isn't quite the artist one would choose as a visual analogue to Tallis), and the sound holds together well; the sonic ambiences of the two different churches where the music was recorded, Merton College Chapel in Oxford and Salle Church in Norfolk, are different but equally interesting. This is a release that can serve as a cornerstone of any Renaissance music CD library.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/14/2004
Label: Gimell Uk
UPC: 0755138120327
catalogNumber: 203


  1. Spem in Alium (also set as "Sing and glorify"), motet for 40 voices, P. 299
  2. Sancte Deus, motet (antiphon) for 4 voices, P. 98
  3. Salvator mundi (I) (also set as "Arise O Lord" and "With all our hearts"), motet for 5 voices, P. 216
  4. Salvator mundi (II) (also set as "When Jesus went"), motet for 5 voices, P. 219
  5. Gaude gloriosa Dei mater, motet (antiphon) for 6 voices, P. 123
  6. Miserere nostri, motet for 7 voices, P. 207
  7. Loquebantur variis linguis, motet for 7 voices, P. 272
  8. If ye love me, anthem for 4 voices
  9. Hear the voice and prayer, anthem for 4 voices
  10. A new commandment, anthem for 4 voices
  11. O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit, anthem for 4 voices
  12. Purge Me, O Lord (also set as partsong: "Fond youth is but a bubble"), anthem for 4 voices
  13. Verily, verily I say unto you, anthem for 4 voices
  14. Remember not, O Lord God (2 versions), anthem for 4 voices
  15. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices
  16. O Lord, in thee is all my trust, anthem for 4 voices
  17. Christ Rising, anthem for 5 voices (doubtful, probably by W.Byrd)
  18. Blessed are those, anthem for 5 voices
  19. Lamentations (of Jeremiah), 1st lesson for 5 voices, P. 102
  20. Lamentations (of Jeremiah), 2nd lesson for 5 voices, P. 110
  21. Absterge Domine, motet for 5 voices, P. 180
  22. O sacrum convivium (also set as "I call and cry to thee" and "O sacred and holy banquet"), motet for 5 voices, P. 210
  23. In manus tuas, motet for 5 voices, P. 202
  24. Salve intemerata virgo, motet (antiphon) for 5 voices, P. 144
  25. Magnificat, for 4 voices, P. 64
  26. Ave Dei patris filia, motet (antiphon) for 5 voices, P. 162

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