After the enormous success last year of their recording of 'Bach Motets', the Hilliard Ensemble turn their attention to music of the English Renaissance and specifically, works by three 16th century composers, Tallis, Tye and Sheppard. While Christopher Tye might be branded one of the lesser-known figures of the English Renaissance, and John Sheppard perhaps the more esoteric, Thomas Tallis stands as the most important and accomplished musician of the Tudor period. All three, however, were masters of polyphony, associated with the Chapel Royal.
The music here is not a sampling of the (much-recorded) music for the new Prayer Book but a survey of the earliest examples of the impact of reform on musical composition, namely from the last decades of Henry VIII's reign. The works of Tallis, Tye and Sheppard are alternated and contrasted throughout this beautifully constructed recital, recorded, like many of the Hilliard Ensemble's CDs, in the splendid, crystal-clear acoustics of the Sankt Gerold monastery in the Austrian Alps. Tallis has long been an inspirational figure for the Hilliards, who had a huge success with their recording of his 'Lamentations of Jeremiah' in 1986 - one of their first ECM New Series discs - and also brought his music into their collaboration with Jan Garbarek on 'Mnemosyne'.
David James - (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump - (tenor), Steven Harrold - (tenor), Gordon Jones - (baritone), Robert Macdonald - (bass)
CD Works By Tallis/Tye/Sheppard