If ye love me
and A new commandment
show Tallis writing for the reformed rites of Edward VI and Elizabeth (who reinstated Edward’s First Prayer Book of 1549 when she came to the throne). They are examples of anthems which either use the word ‘commandment’ or refer to how one should live a godly life. This was especially important for Edward VI’s time when these anthems can be seen to reinforce the exhortation to godly living which was now explicit as a result of the Bible being read in English and a greater emphasis on preaching and teaching. Gone are the great soaring lines of the pre-Reformation where, from time to time, it was difficult to hear which word the choir was singing. Gone also is the impressive English treble voice. Instead Tallis produces beautiful four-part miniatures in two sections with the second section repeated in an ABB structure.
from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2013