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Tudor Organ Music - Tallis, Redford, Tomkins / Carl Smith


Release Date: 10/31/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570142   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Thomas TallisJohn RedfordJohn BlithemanAnonymous,   ... 
Performer:  Carl Smith
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Vanderbilt University-based organist Carl Smith takes us on a pleasant little tour of some Tudor-era church music, visiting works by important contributors to the period's organ repertoire, most importantly John Redford, Thomas Tallis, and Thomas Tomkins. The pieces are typically short (most less than two minutes) and highly refined in their use of imitation and other developmental, structural devices. Most organs in England during the 16th and 17th centuries contained two manual divisions; pedal keyboards were virtually non-existent. Resources were relatively limited regarding registral compass and stops, especially compared to, say, instruments available in northern Germany at the time, and thus most English organ music of this period is Read more for manuals only, the forms basic and unelaborate. Which is not to say the music by these very accomplished composers is uninteresting or inelegant.


On the contrary, the pieces on this program show the same high level of invention and craft that we hear in these same composers' more lauded choral compositions. Beyond that, it's up to the organist to bring the music to life, to carefully measure and sensitively balance its melodic and harmonic elements relative to period style and the constraints of a given instrument. And for these reasons--and for this repertoire--the choice of instrument is very important. Which brings us to Carl Smith, who is a serious student of English keyboard music and who has selected two different yet entirely appropriate American organs (one of which is featured on the CD cover) for his performances. The first, which he uses for 21 of the disc's 30 tracks, is an organ of modest specifications, dominated by fundamental flue stops; the second is more varied in voices and colors, featuring a nice selection of mutations, mixtures, and reeds, in addition to the basic flue stops. Smith is quite adept at utilizing his resources, keeping things interesting by often subtle variations in color and texture. In other words, this recital is very easy to listen to--and it's expertly played and recorded. Highlights include Redford's Te lucis ante terminum, a distant cousin of Bach's chorale preludes, and the wonderfully weird, anonymous La Mi Re.


I often wonder who is the intended audience for recordings such as this. The liner-note information regarding the organs and registrations employed is totally insufficient to satisfy organ aficionados--and the rather specialized content leaves it pretty much outside the realm of "non-organic" listeners. Fortunately, I like this kind of music and I was lucky enough to get to hear this CD; if you're of like mind, hopefully you'll make a point to hear it too. [11/3/2006]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Gloria tibi Trinitas by Thomas Tallis
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
2.
Iste confessor Domini sacratus by Thomas Tallis
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
3.
Exsultet caelum laudibus by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
4.
Sermone blando angelus by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
5.
Eterne rerum by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
6.
Christe qui lux by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
7.
Angulare fundamentum by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
8.
Te lucis ante terminum by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
9.
Gloria tibi Trinitas I by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
10.
Gloria tibi Trinitas II by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
11.
Gloria tibi Trinitas III by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
12.
Gloria tibi Trinitas IV by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
13.
Gloria tibi Trinitas V by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
14.
Gloria tibi trinitas VI by John Blitheman
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
15.
Uppon la mi re by Anonymous
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Notes: This anonymous ground has been attributed to sixteenth-century composer Thomas Preston. 
16.
Miserere by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
17.
Clarifica me Pater by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
18.
In nomine by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1648; England 
19.
Felix Namque by Anonymous
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Medieval 
20.
A solis ortus cardine by Anonymous
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Medieval 
21.
Primo dierum omnium by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
22.
Lucem tuam I by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
23.
Lucem tuam II by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
24.
Lucem tuam III by John Redford
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
25.
Clarifica me Pater no 1 by Thomas Tallis
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
26.
Clarifica me Pater no 2 by Thomas Tallis
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
27.
Clarifica me Pater no 3 by Thomas Tallis
Performer:  Carl Smith (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 

Sound Samples

Exsultet caelum laudibus
Sermone blando angelus
Aeterne rerum Conditor
Christe qui lux
Angulare fundamentum
Te lucis ante terminum
Gloria tibi Trinitas No. 1: Gloria tibi Trinitas I
Gloria tibi Trinitas No. 2: Gloria tibi Trinitas II
Gloria tibi Trinitas No. 3: Gloria tibi Trinitas III
Gloria tibi Trinitas No. 4: Gloria tibi Trinitas IV
Gloria tibi Trinitas No. 5: Gloria tibi Trinitas V
Gloria tibi Trinitas No. 6: Gloria tibi Trinitas VI
La mi re
Clarifica me Pater I: Clarifica me Pater (I)
Gloria tibi Trinitas
Clarifica me Pater II: Clarifica me Pater (II)
Iste confessor Domini sacratus: Iste confessor
Clarifica me Pater III: Clarifica me Pater (III)
Miserere
Clarifica me Pater
In nomine
Felix namque
A solis ortus: Verse I
A solis ortus: Verse II
A solis ortus: Verse III
A solis ortus: Verse IV
Primo dierum omnium
Lucem tuam No. 1: Lucem tuam I
Lucem tuam No. 2: Lucem tuam II
Lucem tuam No. 3: Lucem tuam III

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