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Miserere nostri

7vv MMTTBarBB; Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur, 1575
author of text
Psalm 122

Taken from the Cantiones sacrae of 1575, the publication which Tallis undertook jointly with his friend William Byrd, the exquisite canonic Miserere nostri uses the same scoring as the Missa Puer natus est nobis and Suscipe quaeso Domine (which might imply it was written with Philip II’s Chapel Royal in mind) and it follows a tradition found on the Continent of complex canonic writing. The two highest voices are in canon at the unison separated by just one beat. Four other voices are involved in this technical tour de force. The discantus and contra tenor parts have the same music at the same pitch but the notes in the contra tenor part are four times longer. The two bassus parts are also in canon at the unison with the discantus part but ‘per Arsin et Thesin’ which means that for every upward interval in the tenor part, the basses have a downward interval and vice versa. In bassus I the notes are eight times longer than in the discantus part, and in bassus II the note values are doubled. There is one free voice!

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2015

Emprunté aux Cantiones sacrae de 1575, que Tallis coédita avec son ami William Byrd, l’exquis Miserere nostri canonique, qui utilise la même distribution que la Missa Puer natus est nobis et Suscipe quaeso Domine (il pourrait donc avoir été écrit en pensant à la Chapelle royale de Philippe II), suit une tradition d’écriture canonique complexe pratiquée sur le continent. Les deux voix les plus aiguës sont en canon à l’unisson, séparées par un seul temps. Quatres autres voix sont impliquées dans ce tour de force technique. Les parties de discantus et de contra tenor présentent la même musique, à la même hauteur de son mais avec, pour le contra tenor, des notes quatre fois plus longues. Les deux parties de basse sont également en canon à l’unisson avec le discantus, mais «per Arsin et Thesin» (pour chaque intervalle ascendant au tenor, les basses ont un intervalle descendant et vice-versa). Au bassus I, les notes sont huit fois plus longues qu’au discantus; au bassus II, les valeurs de note sont doublées. Il y a une voix libre!

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew Carwood © 2015
Français: Hypérion

Das exquisite kanonische Miserere nostri (Cantiones sacrae, 1575) hat dieselbe Anlage wie die Missa Puer natus est nobis und Suscipe quaeso Domine (was ein Hinweis darauf sein könnte, dass es für die Chapel Royal von Philipp II. entstanden war) und folgt einer Tradition des komplexen Kanons, die vom europäischen Kontinent stammte. Die zwei Oberstimmen erklingen im Einklangskanon und sind nur einen Schlag voneinander entfernt. Dieser technischen Glanzleistung treten noch vier weitere Stimmen hinzu. Die Discantus- und die Contratenor-Stimme haben dieselbe Musik in derselben Tonlage, doch sind die Notenwerte der Contratenor-Stimme viermal länger. Die beiden Bass-Stimmen stehen ebenfalls im Einklangskanon mit der Discantus-Stimme, sind jedoch „per Arsin et Thesin“ gesetzt, was bedeutet, dass wenn die Tenorstimme ein aufwärts gerichtetes Intervall singt, die Bässe ein abwärts gerichtetes Intervall haben, und umgekehrt. Im Bassus I sind die Notenwerte achtmal länger als in der Discantus-Stimme, und im Bassus II sind die Notenwerte verdoppelt. Es gibt eine freie Stimme!

aus dem Begleittext von Andrew Carwood © 2015
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Il Miserere nostri, a 7 vv., è tecnicamente un tour de force, raro in Tallis. Esso appartiene—un po’ distanziato, giacché non ha cantus planus—alla tradizione inglese dell’intonazioni canoniche del Miserere, pure dimostrazioni di perizia tecnica. E’ un canone doppio a 6 vv. Sur un tenor libero, cioè impiega 2 temi diversi non preesistenti, dei quali uno è cantato dai 2 means e l’altro è ripartito tra le 4 voci restanti. I 2 means eseguono un normale canone rigido a distanza di 4 battute, facilmente percepibile. Al countertenor I è affidata una melodia cantata anche dall’altre 3 vv. Che attaccano simultaneamente: una (il countertenor II) in aumentazione doppia, un’altra (il basso II) in imitazione inversa ed in aumentazione semplice, la terza (il basso I) in imitazione inversa ed in aumentazione tripla. La composizione è anche un omaggio efficacissimo alla potenza immaginativa di Tallis.

Peter Phillips © 1994
Italiano: Bruno Meini


Renaissance Radio
CDGIM212for the price of 1 — Download only
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1
GIMBX301Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Tallis: Ave, rosa sine spinis & other sacred music
Studio Master: CDA68076Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Tallis: Spem in alium
Tallis: The Complete Works, Vol. 7
SIGCD029Download only
Tallis: The Tallis Scholars sing Thomas Tallis
CDGIM2032CDs for the price of 1
The Evening Hour
Studio Master: SIGCD446Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Time and its Passing
Studio Master: SIGCD445Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 6 on CDGIM006 [2'31]
Track 6 on CDGIM203 CD1 [2'31] 2CDs for the price of 1
Track 7 on CDGIM212 CD2 [2'31] for the price of 1 — Download only
Track 6 on GIMBX301 CD2 [2'31] Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Track 19 on CDA68076 [2'24]
Track 9 on SIGCD029 [2'18] Download only
Track 16 on SIGCD445 [2'59] Download only
Track 16 on SIGCD446 [3'22] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD445 track 16

Recording date
18 July 2015
Recording venue
St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Adrian Peacock
Recording engineer
Dave Rowell & Robin Hawkins
Hyperion usage
  1. Time and its Passing (SIGCD445)
    Disc 1 Track 16
    Release date: December 2015
    Download only
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