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Hyperion Records

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Orb of the world in Christ’s hand (detail from the Westminster Retable).
Copyright © Dean and Chapter of Westminster
Track(s) taken from CDA67928
Recording details: June 2011
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Jeremy Summerly
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: May 2012
Total duration: 11 minutes 39 seconds

'For a true celebration of the English high-treble phenomenon one need look no further than this. The amplitude of the basses makes a most wonderful balancing effect with the brightness of the boys and there are great surges of sound that almost lift you out of your seat. Just as you think they've given their all, a super-charged wave of glory takes it all to the next level. Their quiet singing is heavenly, too, and both ends of the dynamic spectrum are sublimely devotional' (Choir & Organ)

'The Gloria of Tye's magnificent Missa Euge bone brings you up short with some startlingly grumpy gestures and intriguing harmonic shifts, but the dark clouds never last long—the closing section of his glorious motet Peccavimus cum patribus nostris, for instance, resolves in an explosion of dazzling polyphony. Westminster Abbey Choir are on brilliant form here, trebles crisp and alert and lay vicars forthright and muscular' (The Observer)

'Immediately one is introduced to Tye's extraordinary sound-world of unusual cadences and rigorous alternation of high and low voices to achieve impressive effects. All of these are carefully allowed to speak for themeselves thanks to the judicious direction of Westminster Abbey's Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O'Donnell' (International Record Review)

Peccavimus cum patribus nostris
author of text
non-liturgical prayer, with Psalm verses 105: 6 & 102: 10

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Peccavimus cum patribus nostris is a Prayer-Motet which also bears classification as a Votive Antiphon, specifically a Jesus Antiphon by virtue of the words at the end of the first section. The cadence at the mention of the name of Jesus is heartfelt. The ear is prepared for a plagal cadence (IV–I), but instead the musical canvas is, without warning, illuminated with the colours of the supertonic (II). That the piece is scored for seven voices suggests that it dates from the reign of Queen Mary, and it certainly bears comparison with the other large-scale antiphons written during Mary’s reign by the likes of Tallis, Sheppard, and Mundy. Indeed Peccavimus cum patribus nostris surpasses even the work of Tye’s contemporaries because of its organic growth and purposeful progression. The two extended sections for four voices, and another for three voices, do more than offer textural contrast: they manipulate the listener (and indeed performer) into adopting Tye’s resolute mindset which dictates that the composition exists solely to prepare—on a vast scale—for the arrival of its climax, where all good things (‘holy love, hatred of sin, and a burning desire for the heavenly kingdom’) ‘grow more and more’. In literal terms this piece is a romantic symphony: romantic because its narrative qualities are manifest, and symphonic because polyphonic lines have rarely sounded together so effectively.

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2012

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