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Thread: Thomas Tallis: Hear The Voice And Prayer (c. 1560)

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Thomas Tallis: Hear The Voice And Prayer (c. 1560)

    We don't very often live up to the "Medieval, Renaissance" part of this sub-forum, so here is a polyphonic tudor composition.

    Thomas Tallis (1505-1585): "Hear The Song And Prayer"

    This is a vocal chorus in four parts, written by the Tudor court composer Thomas Tallis and published some time prior to 1560.

    My instrumental setting for mandolin quartet is based on the CPDL setting by B. Marble, but transposed to G minor:

    https://musescore.com/choral/kyrie-e...-thomas-tallis

    Using my newly repatriated Vinaccia mandolin -- it was out on loan for a few years and I had forgotten how wonderful it sounds and plays!

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin (x2)
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello



    Martin

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    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomas Tallis: Hear The Voice And Prayer (c. 1560)

    I pass the Thomas Tallis Alehouse several times a week. It's a nice surprise to see it in your video!

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    Default Re: Thomas Tallis: Hear The Voice And Prayer (c. 1560)

    My choirs sang Tallis motets including this little masterpiece (back when I wasn't so retired). The score I see is the Kyrie from a mass Tallis composed based on the motet "Hear the voice and prayer." It was common practice (Byrd, Palestrina, Vittoria, well back into the 13th century) to set the more lengthy Mass texts (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, etc.) to music borrowed from a motet or even a popular song of the time. Ask a musicologist "Who composed a mass based on L'homme arme?" Answer: everybody. Probably would have been performed without instruments "in church" (what a cappella really means) but it was common practice to use string and wind instruments either doubling or just playing the parts in less liturgical settings.
    Beautiful work, thanks for giving it to the mandolin world Martin.

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thomas Tallis: Hear The Voice And Prayer (c. 1560)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    The score I see is the Kyrie from a mass Tallis composed based on the motet "Hear the voice and prayer." It was common practice (Byrd, Palestrina, Vittoria, well back into the 13th century) to set the more lengthy Mass texts (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, etc.) to music borrowed from a motet or even a popular song of the time.
    Thanks, Jim!

    To avoid confusion, the use of the "Kyrie" text in the score I linked to in my post is not by Tallis -- John Smith, who uploaded it to Musescore, used the original Tallis composition for the motet "Hear the voice and prayer" but changed the words to those of the Kyrie Eleison. I didn't mention this in my earlier posting as I didn't use the words anyway for my instrumental setting, so what I'm playing is Tallis.

    For what it's worth, the specific setting credited in the Musescore upload is also online, as part of the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) -- John Smith used (and credited) this score by Brian Marble: Link. That source has the "Hear The Voice and Prayer" words. The only reason I used the John Smith score rather than the Marble one is that it's in a better key for my instrumentation.

    Martin

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    Default Re: Thomas Tallis: Hear The Voice And Prayer (c. 1560)

    Thank you for clarifying--the "borrowed" music from motet to Mass was very common so I assumed that was what I saw. I did think the part lines for the "Kyrie" seemed just like the motet, which I have sung and conducted a few times. Thomas Tallis and William Byrd straddled the Catholic-Anglican conflict, writing music in English for the Church of England and in Latin (including the Mass) for sort-of-underground Roman Catholic services. In fact, Tallis' Mass for 4 Voices (which I did not know well) did not have a Kyrie; I wonder if that was the reason for adapting the text to "Hear the voice."
    Anyway, as always-- thank you for your very active contributions to the Cafe and to mandolin music.

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