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Hyperion Records

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The Queen Mary Atlas (c1555-1558) by Diogo Homem (1521-1576)
The British Library Board / Add. 5415 A, ff.9v-10
Track(s) taken from CDA68026
Recording details: February 2013
Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
Release date: March 2014
Total duration: 9 minutes 16 seconds

'Tallis's Christmas Mass … is sung here with customary perfection by The Cardinall's Musick, who polish other Tallis gems alongside it, most notably Videte miraculum, a work of such sensuous beauty it quite eclipses the Mass' (The Observer)

'The new recording rivals the best of those available: it’s Hyperion’s Recording of the Month for March 2014 and it’s mine, too … the opening work on the new recording, Salvator mundi, Domine, from Compline, shows polyphony arising from the plainsong opening like an organic growth. It’s important that the transition should seem like moving from one world to another, yet appear to be seamless, and this The Cardinall’s Musick achieve to perfection. The scene is set for another CD to match the high quality of its two predecessors' (MusicWeb International) » More

'L'approche de Carwood est rhétorique : franche accentuation du texte dans des tempos allants, voix et lignes plus individualisées et sonorité moins ronde. L'influence de Pro Cantione Antiqua, revendiquée par Carwood, est évidente … il faudra suivre de près cette nouvelle traversée de l'univers de Thomas Tallis' (Diapason, France) » More

Videte miraculum
composer
Christ Church MSS 979-83
author of text
Responsory at First Vespers, Feast of the Purification (Candlemas)

Other recordings available for download
Westminster Abbey Choir, James O'Donnell (conductor)
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (conductor)
Introduction
Videte miraculum is the Responsory (or Respond) at First Vespers of the Purification, known in England as Candlemas. The chant on which Tallis bases his polyphony comprises several sections, the full choir alternating with soloist or solo group. Tallis leaves the solo portions as unadorned chant, implanting the choral sections of chant in a six-voice polyphonic texture. This type of Responsory is known as a ‘choral respond’; in a ‘solo respond’, only the solo portions of chant are set. The advantage of the choral respond, which developed from the solo respond in the early sixteenth century, is the dynamic musical structure imposed by the polyphonic setting of the repeating parts of the chant: the form can be summarized, omitting the brief chant intonation, as A-B-C-d-B-C-e-C (solo chant verses in lower case). In Videte miraculum this means the repetition of ‘Stans onerata’ and ‘Et matrem se laetam’ after the first solo chant verse, then, after the second verse, one final repetition of ‘Et matrem’. Tallis exploits this pattern by starting ‘Et matrem’ with a fleeting glimpse of what would now be called the relative major; this unexpected and touching moment gains in effect with each repetition. Most memorable, however, despite being heard only once, is the opening point of imitation on ‘miraculum’—a dissonance, repeated at regular intervals by each entering voice to hypnotic effect.

from notes by Robert Quinney 2008


Other albums featuring this work
'Christmas Music from Medieval and Renaissance Europe' (CDA66263)
Christmas Music from Medieval and Renaissance Europe
'Mary and Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey' (CDA67704)
Mary and Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey

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