Thomas Tallis / Christopher Tye / John Sheppard - Audivi vocem

The Hilliard Ensemble

After the enormous success of their recordings of the Bach Motets the Hilliard Ensemble turn their attention to English renaissance music and specifically works of three 16th century composers Thomas Tallis, Christopher Tye and John Sheppard. All three were masters of polyphony, associated with the Chapel Royal. Their works are alternated and contrasted throughout this composed recital. Tallis has long been an inspirational reference for the Hilliards, who recorded his “Lamentations of Jeremiah” for the New Series already in 1986, and brought his music into their collaboration with Jan Garbarek on “Mnemosyne”.

Featured Artists Recorded

March 2005, Propstei St. Gerold

Original Release Date

02.05.2008

  • 1In ieiunio et fletu
    (Traditional, Thomas Tallis)
    04:25
  • 2Te lucis ante terminum
    (Traditional, Thomas Tallis)
    02:19
  • 3Audivi vocem
    (Traditional, Thomas Tallis)
    03:59
  • 4Omnes gentes plaudite
    (Traditional, Christopher Tye)
    05:04
  • Missa Sine Nomine
    (Traditional, Christopher Tye)
  • 5Gloria07:09
  • 6Gaudete celicole
    (Traditional, John Sheppard)
    05:55
  • 7Beati omnes
    (Traditional, John Sheppard)
    06:39
  • Missa Sine Nomine
    (Traditional, Christopher Tye)
  • 8Credo06:39
  • 9Salvator mundi
    (Traditional, Thomas Tallis)
    02:30
  • 10Laudate pueri
    (Traditional, John Sheppard)
    06:11
  • Missa Sine Nomine
    (Traditional, Christopher Tye)
  • 11Sanctus05:56
  • 12Eterne Rex
    (Traditional, John Sheppard)
    04:05
  • Missa Sine Nomine
    (Traditional, Christopher Tye)
  • 13Agnus Dei05:13
  • 14In pace in idipsum
    (Traditional, Christopher Tye)
    05:02
One of the attractive things about one-to-a-part performances of this repertoire is that they recall the sound-world of the viol consort, especially when sung by an all-male ensemble. The Hilliards also have another trick up their sleeves – a special way of listening to each other that results not only in impeccable tuning and balance but in a shifting range of tone colours that never seems premeditated and yet is always apposite both to the music and the words. …
This is yet another magnificent release from a fine vocal outfit whose diversity of repertoire and sheer longevity never cease to amaze.
Robert Levett, International Record Review
 
Bewundernswert ist, wie frisch, begeistert und damit die Zuhörer begeisternd sich die Hilliards noch immer dieser Musik nähern. Jede Stimme wird in ihrem Eigenwert ausgekostet und doch ins Ganze des Satzes eingebunden, was dem noch immer unerreichten Vokalklang des Ensembles Geschlossenheit und zugleich Individualität gibt. Vokale Kammermusik in Vollendung.
Uwe Schweikert, Partituren
 
Der vorbildliche Ensemblegeist und die Klangkultur der Hilliards machen dieses Programm zu einer wertvollen Entdeckung.
Thomas Schulz, Applaus
 
 
 
 
“If clarity is a virtue, these people are saints”, wrote France’s Nouvel Oberservateur about the Hilliard Ensemble when their interpretation of Bach’s motets was released in spring 2007. “Never have these shining works sounded more beautiful” commented Die Zeit while the Guardian observed a “supremely musical” rendering, “overflowing with food for thought”. Last November the ensemble received a certificate of honour for their artistic achievements by the jury of Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Prize of German Record Critics.

As commonly known, the Hilliard Ensemble’s repertoire ranges from Perotin to Erkki-Sven Tüür, from Guillaume de Machaut to German composer Heiner Goebbels whose new music theatre project, due for first performance in Lausanne this summer, will feature the four singers. British music however marks a relatively small component of their programs. For the first time after the much-acclaimed Tallis-record The Lamentations of Jeremiah and the CD with works by 15th-century-composer Walter Frye (released in 1993) the present production offers an opportunity to listen to performances of music from the precious English a cappella repertoire. Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 1585), Christopher Tye (c. 1505 – c. 1575) and John Sheppard (c. 1515 – 1558) were active during a period when Britain swung violently between Catholicism and Protestantism.

While Henry VIII, who broke ties with Rome, remained Catholic in liturgical taste, his successor, Edward VI introduced a puritanical Protestant regime, to considerable effect on church music. Queen Mary, on the other hand, restored a fervent Catholicism, and only when Elizabeth mounted the throne in 1558, a moderately Protestant compromise was reached. Composers thus had to constantly adapt to the liturgical changes, and all three featuring on this CD both profited from the ensuing musical developments and shaped them themselves. In his liner notes David Skinner – he prepared the scores and offered academic advice for this programme – points out: “The Reformation, it transpires, was a very good thing for music: it forced composers to explore a variety of compositional techniques, and, most importantly, how better to set a text. It was these skills, developed, tried and tested by the likes of Tye, Sheppard and Tallis that set the foundation for the next generation of composers.” Like on most of the previous Hilliard-albums, the programme is carefully assembled: Tye’s “Missa Sine Nomine” serves as the backbone for a suite of responds, antiphones and anthems by the three English composers.