Lachrimæ

In a league table of composers who have made a career out of exquisite misery (several names come to mind!), John Dowland must, surely, come somewhere near the top. w Flow, my tears, fall from your springs! Exiled for ever, let me mourn; Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings, There let me live […]

A worthy wyght

Goe Nightly Cares: Fretwork, Michael Chance, Christopher Wilson, Elizabeth Liddle …Tallis is dead, and Music dies… This is part of Byrd’s Ye Sacred Muses, a lament on the death of his mentor, friend, colleague and the godfather of his son Thomas (no doubt called after his illustrious namesake). Many of the details of Tallis’s life are obscure. He seems to […]

A veritable jeremiad

Ierusalem, Ierusalem convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum. [Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.] The Clerks of New College, Oxford; Edward Higginbottom, Tallis: Lamentations For some yet-to-be-fathomed reason there was a spate of settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah during the Tudor era; though, with state religion toggling back and forth between Catholicism and […]

Critical mass

Byrd: Mass for 3 voices Pro Arte Singers. Paul Hillier The opening of the Byrd 3-part mass. The composer produced three settings of the liturgical text: in four parts (published 1592-93); three parts (1593-94) and five parts (1594-95). Since Catholicism was proscribed under Elizabeth I, they seem to have been intended for single voice performance […]