This product is listed in» Choral
» Early Music
Thomas Tallis: The Complete Works - Volume 7
Music for Queen ElizabethAlistair Dixon
Chapelle Du Roi
Signum Records are delighted to release the seventh volume of their celebrated nine-disc series, presenting the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585).
Queen Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603) was a golden age for the arts. England enjoyed a growing cultural exchange with continental Europe. England’s rich, but essentially conservative pre-Reformation heritage was infused with increasing continental influence and innovations.
Elizabeth I was the fourth monarch to sit on the throne in Thomas Tallis’s lifetime. From the outset of her reign Elizabeth allowed considerable freedom of practice and belief. She was firmly in favour of a vernacular liturgy for the general population, although in her own chapels she preferred a more lavish ceremony to music.
Tallis had witnessed the wholesale destruction of much of England’s church music tradition, however the ever adaptable composer met the challenges of a new liturgy, its new styles and genres, with the imaginative force of a man half his age.
The years of Reformation, and Elizabeth’s protestant settlement, freed the Latin-texted tradition of liturgical propriety, allowing composers to reinvigorate the language and harness it to new, expressive and personal ends. This recording presents Tallis’s Elizabethan Latin motets (which number fifteen). The mighty occasional piece, the forty-voice motet Spem in alium, concludes the disc.
What people are saying
"an exceptionally high standard of singing ... the crowning splendour is a magisterial 'Spem in alium' ... a breath-taking climax ... the Tallis complete works is one of the most exciting projects currently underway on any early music label. Thoroughly recommended"
D James Ross, Early Music Scotland
"Alistair Dixon paces and balances the voices of his vocal group Chapelle du Roi beautifully"
S Pettitt, The Evening Standard
Chapelle du Roi
directed by Alistair Dixon
Release date: 5th Apr 2004
Order code: SIGCD029
|1.||Salvator mundi I||[2:19]|
|2.||O sacrum convivium||[3:15]|
|3.||In manus tuas||[1:51]|
|4.||O nata lux de lumine||[1:54]|
|6.||Discomfort them O Lord||[4:37]|
|7.||Domine, quis habitabit||[8:29]|
|10.||Salvator mundi II||[2:21]|
|11.||Mihi autem nimis||[2:15]|
|12.||O salutaris hostia||[2:38]|
|13.||In ieiunio et fletu (Low)||[3:59]|
|14.||In ieiunio et fletu (High)||[3:18]|
|16.||Spem in alium||[10:03]|
The Evening Standard, 23rd March 2004, ***
Thomas Tallis lived through tempestuous political changes that directly affected how he was allowed to compose. Under Queen Mary he was yoked to Roman Catholic orthodoxy. It must have pleasantly surprised him that on Elizabeth I's accession he was free to continue setting Latin texts, albeit with modifications to his former opulent style.
This disc includes 16 works of this second period. The simplicity of a moving penitential piece for Lent, In Ieiunio et Fletu - given in two versions - is balanced by the brilliant double canon of Miserere Mei Nostri and the intense polyphony of the confessional motet Absterge Domine.
The climax is Tallis's most celebrated work: the 40-part motet, Spem in Alium. Conductor Alistair Dixon paces and balances the voices of his vocal group Chapelle du Roi beautifully, making the very most of the work's amazing textural and spacial contrasts.
Early Music Scotland, March 2004
Volume seven of Signum's projected complete works of Tallis takes us into the golden age of the reign of Elizabeth I and concentrates on his settings of Latin texts. Alongside such extremely familiar material as 'O nata lux', 'O sacrum convivium' and the two settings of 'Salvator mundi', we have underperformed gems such as the canonic and very continental sounding seven-part setting of the 'Miserere' and a very tuneful and very English sounding setting of the psalm 'Domine, quis habitabit'. In the interests of completeness two of the works, 'In ieiunio et fletu' and 'Absterge Domine' are performed at high and low pitch, in the case of the latter piece using one of the surviving contrafacta. We have become accustomed to an exceptionally high standard of singing in this series, and the present recording is no exception. The low pitch performances show off the men's voices to impressive advantage, while the higher pitch pieces yet again demonstrate the strength and purity of the ladies' voices. The crowning splendour is a magisterial 'Spem in alium', of which we have already had a foretaste when it appeared on an earlier release coupled with its contrafactum 'Sing and glorify'. Listening to it in the context of Tallis' other contemporary settings of Latin texts makes it all the more enjoyable and it provides a breath-taking climax to the present recording, The Tallis complete works is one of the most exciting projects currently underway on any early music label, and Signum are to be warmly congratulated on the inspiring results. Thoroughly recommended.
D James Ross