When David Heard – The Gesualdo Six

The Gesualdo Six are a vocal sextet made up of six male voices, specialising in the performance of renaissance polyphony. The group was formed in 2014 by its director, Owain Park. Recent repertoire has included Carlo Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday (Feria Quinta), Monteverdi’s Rimanti in Pace, and Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices. Source:…

John Dankworth (1927-2010): Light of the World

If you know the English jazz scene you probably think of the late John Dankworth either as a brilliant jazz composer and saxophonist or as Cleo Laine’s husband but his talents were too great and too broad to be confined to any one genre. His setting of Paul Wigmore’s "Light of the world" is a…

John Sheppard (±1515-1558): Haste Thee O God (attr.)

Compared to that other Tudor-era composers Sheppard’s music is still relatively little known and infrequently performed which is perhaps why this recording of Haste the, O God, a setting of Psalm 70 generally attributed to Sheppard is the first ever recording of it. It’s also been attributed to Tye but it sounds more like Sheppard…

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585)(attrib): Out from the deep

Tallis was one of the composers who composed some of the earliest English anthems. Tallis is generally reckoned to have composed around forty but that’s a more than somewhat misleading figure as quite a few of his English compositions are straightforward contrafacta of Latin compositions. There are also several anthems which are no believed to…

William Byrd (±1539-1623): Constitues eos principes

Constitues eos principes (You will make them princes) is one of three pieces of music that Byrd composed specifically for the feast of saints Peter and Paul, he published it in the 1607 Gradualia. It’s a six-part setting, confident and modern and full of energy in which the anguish we associate with the Cantiones is…

Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623): Give ear, O Lord

The text of Weelkes’ anthem ‘Give ear, O Lord’ is from William Hunnis’ (d1597) collection of devotional texts ‘An humble sute of a repentant sinner for mercie’ it’s a penitential text and there are some indications that Weelkes and Hunnis, who was master of the Chapel Royal choristers at the time he wrote it, knew…

Robert Ramsey (fl c1612-1644): In monte Oliveti

Ramsey’s madrigal-anthem probably dates from around 1615 and was written for private devotions rather than the liturgy. It’s a six-part setting that with its harmonic tensions, repetitions, and use of declamation and and dissonance can sound surprisingly modern to our ears. Enjoy :-). mfi

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Forgive me, Lord my sin

Very little is known about this piece, we don’t know when Tallis composed it, or for whom, or for what occasion. But it appears in both editions of James Clifford’s published collections of anthem texts. Clifford’s collection was the “greatest hits” compilation of the time so “Forgive me, Lord my sin” must have been both…