Byrd; Tallis Cantiones Sacrae

Thoroughly reliable and musical performances of a major motet volume

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Thomas Tallis, William Byrd

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Obsidian Records

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 0

Mastering:

Stereo

Catalogue Number: CD706

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Salvator mundi, salva nos I Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Absterge Domine Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
In manus tuas Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Emendemus in melius William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Libera me, Domine, et pone me William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Peccantem me quotidie William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Mihi autem nimis Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
O nata lux de lumine Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
O sacrum convivium Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Aspice Domine, quia facta est (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Attollite portas (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: O lux, beata Trinitas (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Derelinquat impius Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Dum transisset Sabbatum Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Honor virtus et potestas Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Sermone blando angelus Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Laudate pueri Dominum (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Momento homo (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Siderum rector (5vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Te lucis ante terminum I Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Te lucis ante terminum II Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Salvator mundi, salva nos II Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Candidi facti sunt Nazarei Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Da mihi auxilium (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Domine secundum actum meum (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Diliges Domine (8vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
In jejunio et fletu Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Suscipe quaeso Dominus Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Miserere mihi Domine (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Tribue, Domine (6vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, Movement: Libera me, Domine (5vv) William Byrd, Composer
Alamire
William Byrd, Composer
Miserere nostri Thomas Tallis, Composer
Alamire
Thomas Tallis, Composer
This claims to be the first complete recording in the original order of the 1575 Cantiones sacrae, the volume of stunning historical and musical importance with which Tallis and Byrd initiated the printing of sophisticated polyphony in Elizabethan England. Actually there was one in 1969 on L’Oiseau-Lyre, by Michael Howard and Cantores in Ecclesia, on LP and of mixed quality (partly reissued and all downloadable). But it is true to say that Cantiones sacrae has had less than its due attention as a collection, despite its including some of the loveliest and most popular motets from Elizabethan England: in modern editions the 17 works by Byrd are kept well separate from the 17 by Tallis. For David Skinner to call the printed order “the original order that Tallis and Byrd intended” is obviously to beg quite a few serious questions; but of course the massive advantage of the CD over the old LPs is that we can go straight to one motet: we know it will be here in its right place on the CD; and with this new set we can be sure that the performance will be thoroughly decent.

In the booklet David Skinner devotes some space to the problem of pitch-levels – a matter that is particularly troublesome in this collection of mostly new motets by Byrd and mostly earlier music by Tallis, all assembled in something of a hurry. But Skinner actually ducks the problem by having a team of 12 singers from whom he can choose those most appropriate to any particular piece. Even so, occasionally the result sounds at a pitch that makes texture a touch muddy.

They use solo voices throughout, mixed voices with a fairly open sound that brings with it more vibrato than we are used to hearing in such music nowadays. The requirements of the intégrale also mean that there is less of a tendency to linger over the many juicy dissonances in this music. That results in performances that are refreshingly free of self-indulgence. Some of the big Byrd pieces in particular are very good indeed.

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