Gramophone Record of the Year-winning group The Cardinall’s Musick continues its exploration of Tallis’s sacred music. These recordings not only showcase the greatest repertoire of the English Renaissance in dazzling performances, but also illustrate the complex historical and political background of the works and their genesis.
This volume presents Tallis’s extraordinary seven-voice Mass, Missa Puer natus est nobis, which dates from the Catholic reign of Mary I. In his fascinating booklet notes Andrew Carwood writes that this Mass is ‘something of a marriage between the English and Spanish Chapels, not only in its scoring but also in its sound world … the piece is sonorous and rich, a gorgeous background tapestry for a solemn celebration of the Mass, and has wonderful dramatic effects including the use of antiphony or dialogue between voices. It is a shame that Tallis wrote no more in this vein but, perhaps like Mary’s short-lived Restoration, it was a piece of the moment not to be repeated’.
Other works recorded here include what is possibly Tallis’s earliest work, the four-part Latin Magnificat, and the gloriously splendid Videte miraculum, a masterpiece with a ‘rich palette of colours, enhanced by suave melodic writing with a slow-moving harmonic pulse tinged with heart-achingly gorgeous cadences’.