Hyperion Records

First line:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
author of text
Luke 1: 68-79

'Tallis: Missa Puer natus est nobis & other sacred music' (CDA68026)
Tallis: Missa Puer natus est nobis & other sacred music
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Tallis’ setting of the Benedictus, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel’, is a stand-alone setting of the text instructed to be sung at the Morning Office of Mattins in Cranmer’s new Prayer Book. It is scored for lower voices and is a wonderful example of how Tallis can take a very restricted style of writing, one which is essentially quite plain, and turn out a minor masterpiece. The use of divided tenors and basses gives a warm sonority and there is a judicious amount of imitation at the beginning of some sections contrasted with greater textual clarity through homophonic writing at the start of others. Tallis allows himself a little textual repetition at the very end (the words ‘and ever shall be’, before the final ‘Amen’) but otherwise adheres to Cranmer’s advice over text-setting. William Byrd, Tallis’ pupil and friend, thought highly enough of this piece to re-use the melody of ‘which hath been since the world began’ in his Great Service some decades later.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2014

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA68026 track 7
Recording date
22 February 2013
Recording venue
Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Recording engineer
Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
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