The five-part English piece I call and cry to thee
is the same music as the Latin motet O sacrum convivium
published in the 1575 Cantiones sacrae
. This habit of giving English words to Latin-texted pieces, known as contrafactum, was not uncommon during this period and may express a desire to sing music in the vernacular. It is thought that I call and cry
may have started life as an instrumental fantasia, perhaps dating from the 1560s, but was revised and given its Latin title for inclusion in the 1575 publication. It is an exquisite piece, full of glorious imitation, based on syllabic writing and in an ABB form. It is beautiful in either language and is a good example of the fusion created by Tallis between the strict and controlled music of the Reformers and the more free, expansive writing of Mary’s restored Catholic rite.
from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2013