Posts Tagged ‘ Tudor Music ’

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Derelinquat impius

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June 19, 2015

Derelinquat impius (May the unrighteous) takes its text from Isaiah and was the fifth Respond at Matins on the First Sunday in Lent. Andrew Carwood describes it as "surprising and unsettling because of the peregrinations of the opening bars" with some "eyebrow-raising melodic moments".  But surely that was the entire point? Tallis rarely, very rarely, engaged in word-painting but surely if ever there was a text that justified him engaging in it then Isaiah 55–7 is that text. The melody is wayward it wanders, and each voice enters at a surprising note all of this depicting the sinner's inability to find his way and his need to revertatur ad Dominum (turn again to the Lord). Tallis varies the texture and introduces some "special effects" such as the leap upward at misericors to represent the heart's leap of joy at the prospect of God's mercy. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

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June 2, 2015

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 conspicuous by its absence. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Mudd: Let thy merciful ears

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May 25, 2015

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 in a very modern style and with a lovely melody. I've put the text below the video. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Miserere nostri, Domine

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March 5, 2015

The phrase "Miserere nostri, Domine" (Have mercy on us Lord) appears twice in the Liturgy once as  the third verse of psalm 122 and again as the second last verse of the Te Deum. The phrase itself is an alternative form of the more familiar Miserere nobis found in the ordinary of the Mass. It's one of three texts collectively referred to as "Miserere" texts, Miserere Mei, Miserere Mihi, and Miserere Nostri and all three texts are of interest to us as music lovers because during the reign of Elizabeth II a tradition developed amongst English composers of setting the 'Miserere' texts to canonic musical settings as a demonstration of their technical mastery of the compositional arts. If you like Elizabethan polyphonic music and the text being set is one of the Miserere texts you can be pretty sure you're in for a treat.

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Aspice, Domine quia facta est

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February 4, 2015

Byrd's  of the Matins Respond for November was published in the 1575 Cantiones Sacræ. The text is from The Lamentations and it's a six-part setting for divided tenors and means that clearly shows Ferrabosco's influence in its Italianate structure of lengthy imitative writing followed by very brief homophonic passages. The effect is quite dark but very beautiful. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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