Tallis: The Tallis Scholars Sing Thomas Tallis Import
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These recordings were made 1985-1998, and they all sound great. Included in this collection are most of Tallis best and best-known works: the two Lamentations of Jeremiah, O Sacrum Convivium, Gaude Gloriosa, Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter (which contains the theme that inspired Ralph Vaughan Williams' famous Fantasia), and the incredible 40-part motet Spem In Alium (which is one of the supreme masterpieces of the 16th century). Unfortunately, there are some notable absences, such as the Tallis Scholars' own recording of O Nata Lux. The Mass for 4 Voices, certainly one of Tallis' major works, is also nowhere to be found. Of course, there's only so much music that will fit onto two CDs, but it's still a shame that they couldn't fit at least one of Tallis' masses. Nevertheless, the music that's here is beautiful and powerful.
The Tallis Scholars themselves need no introduction. They're one of the most famous groups specializing in Renaissance music.Read more ›
It doesn't have to be that way.
There is no law that says we cannot look beyond the temporal to the eternal.
It is nowhere writ that we cannot come together, in exquisite harmony, to celebrate what we perceive as an orderly and beautiful universe.
Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585) wrote glorious music under the watchful eye of four English monarchs, some Catholic, some not.
His hand never wavered. He composed choral music in English, Latin, French and Italian --- whatever served the preference of his royal master.
And what he wrote!
Let's just consider his 10-minute masterpiece, Spem in alium. Legend has it that he wrote it in response to a challenge from Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk. The challenge: Could an Englishman write a better piece than Striggio's 40-part Ecce beatum lautam? Tallis was then 65, not an age when composers are thought to be at the height of their powers. But he produced a work for eight choirs of five voices each.
I repeat: eight choirs of five voices each.
After the first performance, Thomas Howard took a gold chain from around his neck and gave it to Tallis.
Here's Peter Phillips, creator and conductor of the Tallis Scholars, on this remarkable piece: "So outstanding is 'Spem in alium' that it still seems impossible that one mind without a computer could have managed it. To write for forty voices which do not repeat themselves in consecutive motion and not to lose control of the whole colossal edifice is to set a challenge which even the Art of Fugue scarcely rivals... Spem remains the ultimate technical challenge: supremely difficult to bring off, supremely rewarding when one comes near.Read more ›
This is my favourite version of the great 40-part motet Spem in alium - and that's against some pretty stiff competition, too. Similarly, Gaude gloriosa is magnificently sung, and the smaller-scale works are exquisite. I intend, quite seriously, to have this version of Miserere nostri played at my funeral - it is indescribably beautiful and moving. There are also lovely versions of many of Tallis's English Anthems, including the tune from Archbishop Parker's Psalter upon which Vaughan Williams based his famous Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, plus a beautifully sung Lamentations.
This is a gem of a double CD and is very warmly recommended as a marvellous collection of some of the finest recordings of Tallis available, and at a bargain price. You really can't go wrong.
For anyone not familiar with The Tallis Scholars, they are a highly respected group of singers of Thomas Tallis and perhaps other period music. I'm no expert on them, and bought this on the recommendation of a very educated friend. Many of these pieces are sung by an all male choir, including boys for the upper parts. Other pieces seem to be sung by a mixed gender choir; however, even then there may be boys singing the upper parts. What clarity in their voices!! Another possible surprise for the uninitiated is that these works are sung completely a cappella (without accompaniment).
The music is simply awesome! It's hard for me to imagine any serious music lover not being thrilled to hear (or receive!) this music. I highly recommend the set and would give 20 stars if I could!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Tallis Scholars are great but the recording is just too bright and too much reverb "smears" the sound image.Published 5 months ago by Dennis
I first heard "Spem in alium" when I watched The Tudors and fell in love with that song. I listen to this on the way to Latin Mass. :)Published 7 months ago by A. Eckersall
Not quite what I expected. All the songs (chants?) sounded alike to me, but I'm not very musical. Probably people with better taste than I have just love this.Published 15 months ago by D. Frey
No one sings Tallis like the Tallis Singers...and without Tallis, where would music be?Published 19 months ago by Cybele_now-L