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Musica Sacra - Tallis: Lamentations & Contrafacta


Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 93955   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The same solid musicianship, stylistic authority, and clearly detailed vocal textures that informed earlier volumes in this fine series also defines these performances. For this next-to-last disc in the series, Chapelle du Roi and Alistair Dixon offer Tallis' two settings of Lamentations of Jeremiah, filling out the program with "contrafacta", or English-text versions of original Latin-texted works. This was a common practice in Reformation England when there was an urgent need for vernacular liturgical music--and Tallis obliged with some very adroit adaptations, perhaps the most interesting of which is Sing and glorify heaven's high majesty, more famously known as Spem in alium, the 40-part motet that's been recorded many times Read more with varying degrees of success. In fact, this choir previously issued this and the original version of Spem in alium together on a single CD and the Latin version also appears on Signum's Complete Works Volume 7.

Although the male-voice Lamentations receive fine enough performances--well-paced, sensitive phrase and section endings, and good ensemble balance--the competition in these pieces gives the edge to the reference versions for just that much more expressive range (Tallis Scholars) and an unmatched beauty of vocal quality and blend (Hilliard Ensemble). The best singing comes in the more tuneful motets such as I call and cry to thee and the mixed-voice works, especially O sacred and holy banquet, and, perhaps best of all, When Jesus went into Simon the Pharisee's house (with its marvelous sequences of cross-relations). The sound remains a bit "edgy", but the penetrating solo soprano voice is much less evident here than in some past volumes, probably due in large part to the scoring configurations of these motets. In all, this is another excellent effort--again enhanced by well-designed packaging and informative notes--that Tallis fans shouldn't hesitate to add to their collections. [2/23/2005]

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Lamentations of Jeremiah: First Lectio at Matins, Maundy Thursday: by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
2.
Lamentations of Jeremiah: Second Lectio: by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
3.
Wipe away my sins by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
4.
Forgive me, Lord, my sin by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
5.
Blessed are those that be undefiled by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
6.
Arise, O Lord, and hear by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
7.
With all our hearts by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
8.
I call and cry to thee by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
9.
O sacred and holy banquet by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
10.
When Jesus went into Simon the Pharisee's house by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
11.
Blessed be thy name by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
12.
O praise the Lord (2nd version) by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi
13.
Sing and glorify heaven's high majesty by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Alistair Dixon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chapelle du Roi

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