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Sermone blando angelus
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According to the rite of Salisbury, Jesu salvator saeculi and Sermone blando angelus are both hymns for use from Low Sunday until the Ascension Vigil, the first at Compline and the second at Lauds. They are similar in style, essentially syllabic and homophonic, and alternate plainsong with composed music, the cantus firmus being preserved in the top part. Tallis takes the opportunity to reuse material, merely swapping the contratenor and tenor parts (verses 2 and 4 in each case use this scheme and in Sermone blando verse 6 and the doxology have the same music). These pieces, like all of Tallis’s hymns, are modest, clear and compact – entirely suited to performance within the liturgy.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2005

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