Thomas Tallis Medieval Music

Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 1585) is an English Renaissance composer of choral music. He is considered one of England’s greatest composers, and served at court as a composer, organist, and performer for several monarchs — Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.

For many years, I have turned to the Tallis Scholars’ recording of “Spem in Alium” whenever I felt stressed or needed to focus. Music by Thomas Tallis, Palestrina, and other composers of this era is simply beautiful.

“Tallis: Spem in alium”
Artist: “Peter Phillips: The Tallis Scholars
Album: “Tallis: The Tallis Scholars sing Thomas Tallis”
Licensed to YouTube by GimellRecords (on behalf of Gimell); Abramus Digital, LatinAutorPerf, LatinAutor, Public Domain Compositions, and 11 Music Rights Societies

During the Covid-19 quarantine, the peerless Kings Singers came together virtually in order to record “If Ye Love Me.” It’s not only beautiful, but it’s also interesting to see how the parts interweave to create stunning harmony.

Song: If Ye Love Me
Artist: The King’s Singers
Album: The King’s Singers: In Isolation
Licensed to YouTube by The Orchard Music (on behalf of Signum Records); Hexacorp (music publishing), Sony ATV Publishing, LatinAutorPerf, and 1 Music Rights Societies.

And here is another version of Tallis’s “If Ye Love Me” from the talented Lumina Vocal Ensemble.

If ye love me, keep my commandments, and I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may bide with you for ever, ev’n the spirit of truth.
Text based on John 14

If ye love me, a motet from the English Renaissance by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), composer of Spem in alium (40-part motet). Performed in concert ‘Love and other surprises’ by Lumina Vocal Ensemble. Singers: Rachel Sag, Anna Pope, Rosemary Byron-Scott, Tim Muecke and Kenneth Pope. Recorded by Rosemary Beal, 5MBS, November 2012 in Christ Church North Adelaide. Photos by Robyn Ashworth and Claire Booth. Film by Anna Pope.

For more about Tallis, visit the Thomas Tallis School website.

Other British Literature (E4) videos

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