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Laudate nomen Domini

author of text
after Psalm 112: 1, 3

Christopher Tye received the degree of Bachelor of Music at Cambridge in 1536, and sang as a Lay Clerk in King’s in the period March 1537–February 1538, though it is unlikely that any of his surviving music dates from his period of association with the College. The musical source for this well-known piece is Tye’s 1553 publication The Actes of the Apostles, a rendering of that New Testament book in metrical verse together with a musical setting for each chapter. The music for ‘Laudate nomen’ is the setting for Chapter 4 in Tye’s version; however, the Latin text with which the music is now generally associated is a later anonymous contrafactum, or substitute text, being a paraphrase of the first verse of Psalm 112; an English translation of this, beginning ‘O come, ye servants of the Lord’, is also frequently encountered.

The largely homophonic and syllabic word setting in ‘Laudate nomen’ aptly responds to Cranmer’s ideal, as expressed in a letter of 1544 to Henry VIII, that musical settings of sacred texts should not be florid or melismatic, but rather that there should be ‘as near as may be, for every syllable a note’.

from notes by Nicholas Marston © 2016


Evensong Live 2016
Studio Master: KGS0015Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 7 on KGS0015 [1'57] Download only

Track-specific metadata for KGS0015 track 7

Recording date
16 January 2015
Recording venue
King's College Chapel, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Benjamin Sheen
Recording engineer
Benjamin Sheen
Hyperion usage
  1. Evensong Live 2016 (KGS0015)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: July 2016
    Download only
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