Posts Tagged ‘ Tudor Music ’

Edmund Turges (?1450-????): From stormy windes

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July 4, 2014

Arthur Tudor 180x250 captioned I can tell you very little about Edmund Turges we don't know where or when he was born – although London around 1450 is a reasonably good guess. We know that he was admitted to the London parish clerks' company of the Fraternity of St Nicholas between 1468 and 1470 and we know that his songs were played at the court of Henry VII. It's almost certain that Turges himself moved in the court's musical circles and was commissioned to write songs for particular occasions such as his part-song From stormy wyndis which was addressed to Arthur, Prince of Wales (b 1486; d 1502), either to mark his betrothal (1497) or marriage (1501) to Catherine of Aragon, or to pray for his safety before setting out on a journey. Of those three possibilities I think that it was most likely the song was composed for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon because the date 1501 has been added as a note to the lowest voice-part by a later hand furthermore it was used Browne for his setting of Stabat iuxta Christi crucem the next year which suggests to me that Browne was capitalising on the familiarity and popularity of the song. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Alleluia. Ora pro nobis

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June 24, 2014

Tallis' Alleluia. Ora pro nobis for four voices is a fairly early composition. It's a liturgical text intended to be sung during the the celebration of a Lady Mass (Lady Masses were daily celebrations of the Mass that used texts relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary) on Tuesdays between Pentecost and Advent. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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John Sheppard (c1515–December 1558): Media Vita

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March 25, 2014

Sheppard's music is not as popular as that of his contemporaries – I think this is a shame as he's right up there alongside his better-known contemporaries Taverner, Tye, White, and even Tallis. If you want to hear Tudor era music of breathtaking beauty and originality then Sheppard's compositions surely fit the bill. Media Vita is his undoubted masterpiece its sheer breadth of phrasing and expressiveness coupled with stunning sonorities and a remarkably deft hand with dissonance always stops me in my tracks. It's been recorded a few times – I think the most recent recording is by Stile Antico, but the recording below was the first and the one I find that I come back to time and time again.

markfromireland

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Unto the hills mine eyes I lift

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September 11, 2013

The text of Byrd's 'Unto the hills mine eyes I lift' is taken from Psalm 121 and was published in his 'Songs of Sundrie Natures' in 1598. It's a surprisingly old-fashioned piece with echoes of the music of Robert Parsons - Byrd uses the Flemish style of imitation in the same way that Parsons did in his 'Deliver me from mine enemies'. This makes me wonder if 'Unto the hills mine eyes I lift' was a musical homage to Parsons. For obvious reasons Byrd didn't write much religious in English but what there is is exquisite. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Thomas Tallis Loquebantur variis linguis – YouTube

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September 7, 2013

Tallis' motet Loquebantur variis linguis is a polyphonic responsory of the type created and established in the repertoire by Taverner. It's a Pentecostal motet (as can immediately be seen from the text and translation which I give below) and is characterised by a tenor cantus firmus around which the six other voices create a polyphonic web. Its ends with a very lavish Alleluia. The score is available from here:

http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Loquebantur_variis_linguis_%28Thomas_Tallis%29

markfromireland

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