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Thomas Tallis

Composer

Thomas Tallis

Born: 1505 Died: 1585

Little is known about Tallis's early life, but there seems to be agreement that he was born in the early 16th century, toward the close of the reign of Henry VII. His first known appointment to a musical position was as organist of Dover Priory in 1530-31, a Benedictine priory at Dover (now Dover College) in 1532. His career took him to London, then (probably in the autumn of 1538) to the Augustinian abbey of Holy Cross at Waltham until the abbey was dissolved in 1540. Tallis acquired a volume at the dissolution of the monastery of Waltham Holy Cross and preserved it; one of the treatises in it was by Leonel Power, and the treatise itself prohibits consecutive unisons, fifths, and octaves.

Tallis's next post was at Canterbury Cathedral. He was next sent to Court as Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1543 (which later became a Protestant establishment), where he composed and performed for Henry VIII, Edward VI (1547-1553), Queen Mary (1553-1558), and Queen Elizabeth I (1558 until Tallis died in 1585). Throughout his service to successive monarchs as organist and composer, Tallis avoided the religious controversies that raged around him, though, like William Byrd, he stayed an "unreformed Roman Catholic." Tallis was capable of switching the style of his compositions to suit the different monarchs' vastly different demands. Among other important composers of the time, including Christopher Tye and Robert White, Tallis stood out. Walker observes, "He had more versatility of style than either, and his general handling of his material was more consistently easy and certain." Tallis was also a teacher, not only of William Byrd, but also of Elway Bevin, an organist of Bristol Cathedral and gentleman of the Chapel Royal.

Tallis married around 1552; his wife, Joan, outlived him by four years. They apparently had no children. Late in his life he lived in Greenwich, possibly close to the royal palace: a local tradition holds that he lived on Stockwell Street.

Queen Mary granted Tallis a lease on a manor in Kent that provided a comfortable annual income. In 1575, Queen Elizabeth granted to him and William Byrd a 21-year monopoly for polyphonic music and a patent to print and publish music, which was one of the first arrangements of that type in the country. Tallis's monopoly covered 'set songe or songes in parts', and he composed in English, Latin, French, Italian, or other tongues as long as they served for music in the Church or chamber. Tallis had exclusive rights to print any music, in any language. He and William Byrd were the only ones allowed to use the paper that was used in printing music. Tallis and Byrd used their monopoly to produce Cantiones quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur but the piece did not sell well and they appealed to Queen Elizabeth for her support.(18) People were naturally wary of their new publications, and it certainly did not help their case that they were both avowed Roman Catholics. Not only that, they were strictly forbidden to sell any imported music. "We straightly by the same forbid...to be brought out of any forren Realmes...any songe or songes made and printed in any foreen countrie." Also, Byrd and Tallis were not given "the rights to music type fonts, printing patents were not under their command, and they didn't actually own a printing press."

Discography (See list of Compositions.)

Displaying 1-8 of 8 items.


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Cardinall's Musick : Tallis - Gaude Gloriosa

Review: This new Hyperion recording celebrates the 500th anniversary of the birth of England's first superstar composer, Thomas Tallis, and welcomes the signing to the label of The Cardinall's Musick and Andrew Carwood. Over the group's fifteen-year history, The Cardinall's Musick has built an enviable reputation for excellence. Some twenty recordings on the ASV Gaudeamus label have seen accolades from around the world, including a Gramophone Award and a Diapason d'Or, while in the concert hall and workshop the group has consistently displayed innovation and a freshness of approach, whether tackling contemporary works (many of them commissions) or sharing the fruits of years of research into the music of the English Renaissance. On their debut recording for Hyperion, The Cardinall's Musick turns to the period of its namesake, Cardinal Wolsey, and specifi cally to the music of Thomas Tallis. Gaude gloriosa takes center stage. One of a series of monumental and extended motets (each lasting getting on for twenty minutes), this should be regarded as the summation of the genre - whereas Tallis's earlier attempts such as Salve intemerata or Ave Dei Patris fi lia can seem to ramble somewhat, in Gaude gloriosa we find a sure-footed and eloquent response to an unusual text in honor of the Virgin Mary, and a work which takes singer and listener alike into a world of unremitting fervor. Other works on this recording include the famous Loquebantur variis linguis and O nata lux settings, the five-voice Latin Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. Of special note is the Suscipe quaeso Domine - where a particularly gloomy text (thought to have been written to mark England's reconciliation with Rome on the accession of Mary Tudor) elicits from Tallis some truly extraordinary and rhetorical effects including harmonic shifts which are every bit as shocking today as they must have been at the work's first performance in 1554. Future plans for The Cardinall's Musick on Hyperion include the completion of their on-going series encompassing the complete Latin church music of William Byrd.

Songlist: Jesu Salvator Saeculi, Gaude Gloriosa, Sermone Blando Angelus, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis, Derelinquat Impius, Loquebantur Variis Linguis, Suscipe Quaeso Domine, O Nata Lux

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8339c | 00 1 CD | $16.98 | A CappellaEarly Music CDs


King's Singers : Tallis: Spem In Alium

Review: "Spem in alium," not just the greatest of Tallis's compositions but one of the greatest of all time, is based on a liturgical text, written for 40 independent voices, and was first performed in England in 1573. A work for 40 voices is not one that would usually be associate with the legendary all male sextet The King's Singers. Through modern recording technology, flexibility and experimentation, the six have become 40, a true harmonic convergence that occurs when the pairs high, sweet voices throw the sound across the space between them until finally all voices join for a full culmination of the work. "Spem" is a stunningly beautiful piece, although very short, eight minutes and 22 seconds to be precise, and we listened to it several times to truly appreciate it. The piece is followed by a 6-minute interview with the Singers, who discuss the experience of recording it. A short sublimely beautiful piece, recorded by one of the world's finest choral ensembles. SACD

Songlist: Spem in AliumThomas Tallis, Interview with the King's Singers

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7984c | 00 SACD | $11.98 | A CappellaEarly Music CDs


Sixteen : Tallis - Sacred Choral Works - Spem in alium

Review:

Songlist: Spem in alium, Te lucis ante terminum, O nata lux, The Lamentations ofJeremiah:, I Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae prophetae, II De lamentatione Jeremiae phophetae, O Sacrum Convivium, Jesu salvator saeculi, Salvator mundi, salva nos, Loquenbantur variis linguis, Gaude glorioa Dei Mater

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6921c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A CappellaEarly Music CDs


Sixteen : Thomas Tallis : Spem in alium

Review: Newly recorded in the round and in surround sound, Thomas Tallis' 40-part motet, Spem in alium, one of the great landmarks of polyphony, forms the centre-piece of this dazzling CD. Under the theme, Music for Monarchs and Magnates' The Sixteen draws together music by Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons and Thomas Tomkins, some of it never before recorded, some indeed not performed since the time of its writing. It explores the use of music for ceremonial, even propaganda purposes by the state, contrasted with the composers' private use of biblical texts to give public vent to their own sometimes dangerous views in an England torn by political and religious strife. Alongside the usual 40 voice setting of Spem in Alium is an English version of the same work - Sing and Glorify - which was adapted to an English text for King James I to honour his son Henry, the newly-annointed Prince of Wales. With cornetts, sackbuts, dulcians and organs in place of some voices, this is a glorious complement to the usual version.

Songlist: Spem in Alium , O all true faithful hearts, Deus venerunt gentes, Know you not, Great King of Gods (Lord of Lords), O God, the heathen are come, Te Deum, Be Strong and of A Good Courage, Spem in Alium (also set as "Sing and glorify")

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7909c | 00 1 CD | $16.98 | A CappellaEarly Music CDs


Tallis Scholars : Thomas Tallis - Spem In Alium

Review: "Spem in alium" is one of the most remarkable pieces ever written. This forty-voice motet for eight five-part choirs has carefully constructed counterpoint in alternation with striking homophony. No one is certain of the reasons that led Tallis to write something so bold. The large number of choirs creates an amazing stereo-effect and, therefore, is often sung surrounding the audience. The remaining motets on this recording are no less astounding. His merits as a composer must be remembered, as he remained court composer, despite being Catholic, under the rule of Elizabeth I. As usual, the Tallis Scholars lend sheer beauty and clarity to this phenomenal music.

Songlist: Spem in alium, Sancte Deus, Salvator mundi, salva nos I, Salvator mundi, salva nos II, Gaude gloriosa, Miserere nostri, Loquebantur variis linguis

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7156c | 00 1 CD | $16.98 | A CappellaEarly Music CDs


Thomas Tallis : A Cappella Works

Review: Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of its earliest composers. Tallis has been said to be one of the most important composers of his time and is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. Here is a collection of his unaccompanied works arranged for SATB.

Songlist: Verily, verily, Purge me, O Lord, O sacrum convivium, O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit, In manus tuas, In Ieiunio Et Fletu , If ye love me

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8051b | Sheet Music | $9.95 | SATB | A CappellaEarly Music Vocal Arrangements


Thomas Tallis : A Tallis Anthology

Review: This anthology comprises 17 of Tallis's shorter choral pieces, and is designed to provide choirs and students with a pratical and interesting cross-section of the composer's smaller-scale ourput. These are pratical perfoming editions, transposed where necessary, supplemented by a full critical apparatus for each peice and a general introduction to the anthology.

Songlist: Audivi vocem de caelo, Derelinquit impius, Hear the voice and prayer, If ye love me, In ieiunio et fletu, In manus tuas, Laudate Dominum, Mihi autem nimis, O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit, O Lord, in thee is all my trust, O nata lux, O Sacrum Convivium, O salutaris hostia, Purge me, O Lord, Salvator mundi, Te lucis ante terminum, Verily, verily, I say unto you

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6605b | 01 Songbook | $13.95 | SATB | A CappellaEarly Music Vocal Arrangements


Thomas Tallis : English Sacred Music

Review: The sixteenth century was a time of religious upheaval in England. From Henry VIII's protestant reformation through Queen Mary's staunch but short-lived Catholic revival to the return of Anglicanism in Elizabethan times, it would have required careful diplomacy for a Roman Catholic like Thomas Tallis simply to stay alive. In fact he became the most respected composer of his generation and is now recognised as one of the country's greatest composers. 2005 was the five hundredth anniversary of Thomas Tallis' birth and his genius is celebrated in this collection of English-texted sacred music, selected and edited by Jeremy Summerly to provide an invaluable source of introits and anthems for choirs

Songlist: If You Love Me, Hear the Voice and Prayer , A New Commandment, O Lord, Give They Holy Spirit, I Call and Cry to Thee, O Lord, With All Our Heart, Discomfit Them, O Lord, Why Fumeth in Sight

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7304b | 01 Songbook | $6.95 | SATB | A CappellaEarly Music Vocal Arrangements

Compositions ( See Discography.)

Displaying 1-50 of 168 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistRecording TitleFormat
9 Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker's PsalterThomas TallisStile AnticoHeavenly HarmoniesSACDMORE DETAILS
A New Commandment Thomas TallisRobert Shaw Festival SingersA Cappella 1 CDMORE DETAILS
A New CommandmentThomas TallisThomas TallisEnglish Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS
A New CommandmentThomas TallisRobert Shaw Festival SingersO Magnum Mysterium 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Agnus DeiThomas TallisNoah GreenbergEnglish Medieval and Renaissance SongbookSongbookMORE DETAILS
Agnus Dei (Missa Puer natus est)Thomas TallisStile AnticoPuer Natus Est - Tudor Music for Advent and ChristmasSACDMORE DETAILS
Audivi vocemThomas TallisTallis ScholarsEssential Tallis Scholars 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Audivi VocemThomas TallisNew York PolyphonyTudor City 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Audivi vocem de caeloThomas TallisThomas TallisA Tallis AnthologySongbookMORE DETAILS
Audivi vocem de caelo Thomas TallisOxford New College ChoirIn Excelsis 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Audivi Vocem De CoeloThomas TallisLionel Pike (Editor)Tudor Anthems - 50 Motets and Anthems for Mixed Voice ChoirSongbookMORE DETAILS
Ave Maria for 5 voicesThomas TallisGents16th Century English Choral Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Beati Quorum ViaThomas TallisCambridge SingersFaire Is The Heaven 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Credo quod RedemptorThomas TallisGents16th Century English Choral Music 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Dear Maker of the Starry SkiesThomas TallisPaul R. Ladd, Jr.A Choir Book for AdventBookMORE DETAILS
Derelinquat ImpiusThomas TallisCardinall's MusickTallis - Gaude Gloriosa 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Derelinquit impiusThomas TallisThomas TallisA Tallis AnthologySongbookMORE DETAILS
Discomfit Them, O LordThomas TallisThomas TallisEnglish Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS
Eighth Tune: God grant with graceThomas TallisStile AnticoHeavenly HarmoniesSACDMORE DETAILS
Expend, O Lord, My Plant of WordThomas TallisNew York PolyphonyTudor City 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Fifth Tune: E'en Like the Hunted HindThomas TallisStile AnticoHeavenly HarmoniesSACDMORE DETAILS
First Tune: Man blest no doubtThomas TallisStile AnticoHeavenly HarmoniesSACDMORE DETAILS
Fourth Tune: O Come in One to Praise the LordThomas TallisStile AnticoHeavenly HarmoniesSACDMORE DETAILS
Gaude glorioa Dei MaterThomas TallisSixteenTallis - Sacred Choral Works - Spem in alium 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gaude GloriosaThomas TallisCardinall's MusickTallis - Gaude Gloriosa 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gaude gloriosaThomas TallisTallis ScholarsThomas Tallis - Spem In Alium 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gloria (Missa Puer natus est)Thomas TallisStile AnticoPuer Natus Est - Tudor Music for Advent and ChristmasSACDMORE DETAILS
Glory to Thee, My God, This NightThomas TallisCambridge SingersSing, Ye Heavens 1 CDMORE DETAILS
God Grant With GraceThomas TallisNew York PolyphonyTudor City 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Hear the voice and prayerThomas TallisThomas TallisA Tallis AnthologySongbookMORE DETAILS
Hear the Voice and Prayer Thomas TallisThomas TallisEnglish Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS
Hear The Voice And Prayer - Thomas TallisEnsemble AmarcordHear The Voices 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I Call and Cry to Thee, O LordThomas TallisThomas TallisEnglish Sacred MusicSongbookMORE DETAILS
I Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae prophetaeThomas TallisSixteenTallis - Sacred Choral Works - Spem in alium 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If ye love mePeter le HurayThomas TallisThomas TallisA Cappella WorksSheet MusicMORE DETAILS
If ye love meThomas TallisThomas TallisA Tallis AnthologySongbookMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love Me Thomas TallisWashington Men's CamerataBrothers Sing On! 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisNotre Dame Liturgical ChoirCantate Domino - Music From the Basilica of the Sacred Heart 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisChoir of King's College, CambridgeChoral Favorites From King's 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisKing's SingersEnglish Renaissance 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeKing SingersThomas TallisKing's SingersEnglish RenaissanceSongbookMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisKing's SingersEnsemble Singing CollectionSongbookMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisLuther College Nordic ChoirEverlasting God 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisCambridge SingersFaire Is The Heaven 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisCantusIntroit 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love Me Thomas TallisChoir of King's College, CambridgeMusic For Holy Week 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisRobert Shaw Festival SingersO Magnum Mysterium 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisChanticleerOut Of This World 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If Ye Love MeThomas TallisSt. Olaf Viking ChorusRise Up O Men of God 1 CDMORE DETAILS
If ye love meThomas TallisBarry RoseSing LowSongbookMORE DETAILS
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Composers