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Tye: Latin & English Church Music / Magdalen College Choir


Release Date: 06/14/2005 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 907396   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir OxfordByrde Recorder Consort
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Christopher Tye (c. 1500-1572) lived through perhaps the most exciting and challenging period of English history--at least for a composer of church music. The reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I included the most florid and fertile period of Roman church music, the Reformation, assorted Roman Catholic and Protestant conflicts, the creation of the Anglican Church, the brief revival of Catholicism, and the liturgical demands and officially sanctioned musical restrictions imposed along with the new Anglican Prayer Book in 1549. With a couple of exceptions, Tye's best work is found in his Latin compositions, among them In pace in idipsum and the two structurally substantial and
Read more musically magnificent 5- and 7-part Psalm motets that conclude the program, Miserere mei, Deus and Peccavimus cum patribus nostris.


Hardly anyone performs Tye, partly because not much of his music has survived in complete or reliable form, but also because it's uneven in quality, ranging from the most sublime to the more mundane (including the square, routinely chordal Actes of the Apostles, not presented here). As mentioned, most of the sublime stuff was inspired by the Roman Catholic liturgy, including one of the period's finest Masses (Euge bone), but many of the Reformation-era works also deserve high praise, including the flowing, skillfully imitative I lift my heart to thee, my God--and no matter what the origin or context, we can sit back and simply enjoy the Choir of Magdalen College's interpretations.


The choir's expertise in this music, whether thickly textured and weighted toward inner or lower voices or demanding absolute accuracy of pitch from exposed, high trebles, is unassailable, and conductor Bill Ives is to be commended for his assured tempos and careful phrasing--and for his deft handling of several dramatic moments where Tye suddenly breaks the momentum before just as suddenly reviving its pulse. The choral sound features a boy-treble quality that's pleasingly bright but also unusually warm and round, supported by rich-toned lower voices, recorded in the complementary acoustic of the Magdalen College chapel. This is a first-rate program with performances to match, an ideal companion to the ASV recording of Tye's Euge bone Mass from Ely Cathedral (type Q436 in Search Reviews). [5/31/2005]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Omnes gentes, plaudite by Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine (Organ)
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford,  Byrde Recorder Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
2.
In pace in idipsum by Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine (Organ)
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford,  Byrde Recorder Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
3.
Nunc dimittis by Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine (Organ)
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford,  Byrde Recorder Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
4.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost by Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine (Organ)
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford,  Byrde Recorder Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
5.
Misere mei Deus by Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine (Organ)
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford,  Byrde Recorder Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
6.
Peccavimus cum patribus by Christopher Tye
Performer:  Richard Pine (Organ)
Conductor:  Bill Grayston Ives
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford,  Byrde Recorder Consort
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 

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