Hyperion Records

Christ rising
composer
editor
reconstruction of lower bass part
author of text
Romans 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22 (texts appointed to be sung on Easter Day in Edward VI's second Prayer Book, 1552

Recordings
'Tye: Missa Euge bone & Western Wynde Mass' (CDA67928)
Tye: Missa Euge bone & Western Wynde Mass
Details

Christ rising
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Christ rising is a six-voice setting of the Easter Anthems. The text belongs to the 1552 Book of Common Prayer, where it was ritually substituted for the Venite during Matins on Easter Day. The lowest partbook of the only (early seventeenth-century) source of this piece has been lost and requires reconstruction (here by John Langdon in 1970). The harmonic language is bold and frequently dissonant. The English cadence at the words ‘of the dead’ is one of the more gentle of the piece’s many dissonances. The augmented chord and subsequent simultaneous false relation used to paint the words ‘For seeing that by man came death’ might, on their own, be found expressive and tolerable, but the other fourteen instances of the simultaneous false relation (and three other non-simultaneous ones) make this piece acoustically disturbing (most notably so at the words ‘For as by Adam all men do die’). Each occurrence of the false relation is justifiable in terms of micro word-painting, and the brilliantly conceived contrasting consonant ending does justice to the words ‘restored to life’, but the overall effect is brash in the extreme. Perhaps it was this aspect of Tye’s stylistic dogma that so agitated Elizabeth I: ‘Sometimes playing on the organ in the chapel of Queen Elizabeth, which contained much music, but little delight to the ear, she would send the verger to tell him he played out of tune; whereupon he sent word that her ears were out of tune.’

from notes by Jeremy Summerly © 2012

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