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The Spirit of Tallis

author of text
Psalm 2: 1-2; from Archbishop Matthew Parker’s Psalter, 1567

The original theme, a hymn by Tallis, the text of which employs the first two verses of Psalm Two, was first seen included in Archbishop Parker’s Psalter of 1567. The theme was brought to particular prominence by Ralph Vaughan Williams who not only included it in the twentieth-century English Hymnal, of which he was one of the editors, but used it as the basis for his own Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, composed in 1910 and first performed in Gloucester Cathedral the same year. In The Spirit of Tallis, Christopher Monks uses the original text found in the 1567 Psalter, ‘Why fum’th in fight the Gentiles spite, in fury raging stout?’, while the poignant Phrygian melody of Tallis’s hymn is complemented with an improvisatory and expressive violin line.

from notes by Adam Binks © 2010


Naked Byrd, Vol. 2
SIGCD235Download only


Track 2 on SIGCD235 [3'07] Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD235 track 2

Recording date
12 February 2010
Recording venue
Moreton Morrell Real Tennis Court, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Christopher Monks & John Taylor
Recording engineer
John Taylor
Hyperion usage
  1. Naked Byrd, Vol. 2 (SIGCD235)
    Disc 1 Track 2
    Release date: January 2011
    Download only
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