Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67548
Recording details: January 2005
Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
Release date: July 2005
Total duration: 17 minutes 20 seconds

'In its entirety this disc is a sublime tribute both to one of England's greatest composers, and to the skill and conviction of one of today's finest ensembles' (Gramophone)

'This superbly sung selection of some of his finest Latin church music will surely prove to be one of Tallis's very best 500th birthday presents. It is hard to imagine a better performance of the magnificent six-part votive antiphon Gaude gloriosa' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This is the first manifestation of the new exclusive contract between Hyperion and the Cardinall's Musick. With Andrew Carwood's scholarly approach to Tudor music, coupled with the individual excellence of each of his singers and the superlative production values of Hyperion, I suspect this is going to be a very fruitful collaboration' (International Record Review)

'This is a highlight of the Tallis year' (Fanfare, USA)

'This marvellously full-throated performance can stand comparison with any … throughout, the performances maintain the high level The Cardinall's Musick have consistently displayed in their Byrd series, being beautifully tuned and balanced … a strong 5-star recommendation' (Goldberg)

Gaude gloriosa
composer
author of text

Other recordings available for download
The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips (conductor)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Tallis’s monumental votive antiphon, Gaude gloriosa is a piece requiring some detective work. At first glance it appears to sit firmly within the pre-Reformation style. A setting of a lengthy and rambling text to the Virgin, it is similar to those set by the older masters such as Robert Fayrfax, Ludford and Taverner. What imitation is present in the piece is modest and short-lived and the whole makes its effect through its length (461 bars), wide vocal ranges and superb control of dramatic gestures. Contrast is created by juxtaposing sections for reduced forces with settings for full choir: all characteristics typical of the pre-Reformation style.

Yet there are good reasons for supposing a later date of composition. Compared with Tallis’s early compositions (Ave rosa sine spinis, Ave Dei Patris filia and Salve intemerata virgo), Gaude gloriosa shows a considerable advance in confidence, structure and effect. The earlier pieces can seem rather sprawling, and in some cases appear to be the work of a composer learning his craft. Indeed Ave Dei Patris filia refers to Fayrfax’s work of the same name much in the style of a student exercise. Yet Gaude gloriosa is sure-footed and eloquent, a considerable advance on his early work. It is scored for six voices rather than the more usual five-part texture and sports divided tenors, a baritone and a bass part allowing a thicker sonority than is sometimes usual for an early sixteenth-century composition. The full sections contain little respite for the singers, with hardly a bar’s rest in any voice part, lengthy and demanding writing and a fairly constant exploitation of the upper register of the top part. In short it is bigger, thicker and more well-nourished than the earlier style. The sections for solo voices are the work of a mature composer, especially in the section making use of the treble and alto gimmells (the voices split into two parts) and, perhaps most tellingly, there are no duets (de rigueur in earlier pieces). It is almost as if this is Tallis remembering an older style, recreating a sound world banished by Edward VI.

One further point needs consideration. The text, an extended paean to the Virgin Mary is deeply Catholic. It seems unlikely that such words would have been deemed appropriate in the latter days of Henry VIII, even when he was having a more Catholic phase. Yet this text in nine sections each beginning with the word ‘Gaude’ would have been just the sort of piece that Mary Tudor might have wanted to hear, one which could knit together both the old and new: a celebration of the world of her youth in its form and text and, through its very composition, a bedrock for her new Catholic order.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2005


Other albums featuring this work
'Tallis: Spem in alium' (CDGIM006)
Tallis: Spem in alium
'Tallis: The Tallis Scholars sing Thomas Tallis' (CDGIM203)
Tallis: The Tallis Scholars sing Thomas Tallis
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM203  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1' (GIMBX301)
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1
MP3 £15.99FLAC £15.99ALAC £15.99 GIMBX301  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only  

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch