For this week's posting I've linked to two videos with different interpretations of Tallis' (born 1505 died 1585) "If you love me" the first by the Cambridge Singers the second by the Danish choir, The Århus Baroque Choir. I promise you it's well worth your while listening to both. The lyrics are Tallis' setting of words from John 14.
If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you for ever, ev'n the spirit of truth.
Incidentally Muslims say that this is one of the instances of the Bible prophesying the arrival of Prophet Mohammed and Islam. (The keyword is "paraclete" which is translated as "comforter" in Tallis' setting) :
15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father: and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever:
15 Si diligitis me, mandata mea servate: 16 et ego rogabo Patrem, et alium Paraclitum dabit vobis, ut maneat vobiscum in æternum,
I've picked these recordings because the Cambridge Singers' interpretation is a very typically "English interpretation" of the piece, and the second because not only is it beautiful in and of itself but because like the Cambridge Singers' performance it refutes those who say that women cannot (or should not) sing music intended for the male voice. Both choirs are mixed and both give a performance that is masterly, warm, comforting, has beautiful diction, and is oh so very beautiful.
- Thomas Tallis - If Ye Love Me by Op139 Performed by the Cambridge Singers under John Rutter.
- Thomas Tallis: If ye love me by Mona Holm Aarhus Baroque Choir, Denmark, sings Tallis, september 2009