Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Euge caeli porta

In early Tudor England the cult of the Virgin Mary was in full flower. There was considerable demand for Marian music, antiphons, motets, hymns, and settings of liturgical texts to be sung in the special votive Mass of the Virgin known as the Lady Mass. Euge caeli porta (Welcome gate of heaven) is one such text. It’s a four-part setting (SATB or AATB or SATT) of  the second verse of the Marian sequence Ave, praeclara maris stella (Hail, bright Star of the Sea) written around 1050 AD by Hermannus Contractus (Hermann of Reichenau). The chant can be heard in the lowest voice. Based on the style and the purpose of the text it must have been composed fairly early on in Tallis’ career. Enjoy :-).


Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Euge caeli porta

Euge caeli porta, quae nunc aperta,
veritatis lumen, ipsum solem iustitiae,
indutum carne, ducis in orbem.

from Ave, praeclara maris stella

Welcome gate of heaven, which now stands open,
the light of truth, the very sun of justice,
clothed in flesh, you bring into the world.

Performers: Chapelle du Roi conducted by Alastair Dixon

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