Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Purge me o Lord

Tallis composed this very brief anthem for Edward VI’s sternly protestant England. It’s for four voices (SATB) and in the in ABB form (in other words it’s in two sections the second of which is repeated exactly – mfi) that was so popular with Edwardian and early Elizabethan composers.  These days it’s most often sung…

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Come, Holy Ghost

You may have heard Tallis’ English language setting of Veni Creator referred to as "Tallis’ Ordinal" it’s to be found in the whole Psalter translated into English metre published in 1567 by the Elizabethan music printer John Day. That psalter contained inter alia metrical translations of psalms by Matthew Parker, the first Anglican Archbishop of…

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): With all our hearts

This motet suitable for Trinity is a contrafactum of  Tallis’ first setting of Salvator mundi it was clearly popular with Tallis’ contemporaries (and indeed the succeeding generation) as it was very widespread during the reigns both of Elizabeth I and James I. I have to say I feel that in places the English text isn’t…

William Mundy (±1529-1591): Evening Canticles

Mundy is one of those Tudor composers about whom we know almost nothing. His career spanned the entirety of the English reformation, the Henrician overthrow of the Catholic church, the Edwardian intensification of reform, the Marian reaction, and Elizabeth II’s re-entrenchment of the Anglican church, Mundy saw them all. His contemporaries thought very well of…

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…

Mudd: Let thy merciful ears

We don’t know which of the Mudds composed this setting of the collect for the tenth sunday after Trinity. It could have been Henry Mudd, either of his two sons, or his grandson Thomas. (Just to make dating and attribution even more difficult it’s been wrongly ascribed to Weelkes). It’s a short but lovely piece…

William Byrd (±1539-1623): Venite

The Venite (Psalm 95) is sung during the Anglican ritual for the celebration of Matins and has been sung as part of that ritual ever since the Church of England was founded. It’s not certain when Byrd composed it but on stylistic grounds sometime in the 1580s seems the most likely. The scale and scope…