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|Christopher Tye - Latin & English Church Music (Harmonia Mundi, HMU 907396), The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, Byrde Recorder Consort|
Posted: 26-11-2012, 23:07 (post 1, #1064675)
Christopher Tye (1505 - 1572)
Latin & English Church Music
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Chorus: The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford
Ensemble: Byrde Recorder Consort
Conductor: Bill Grayston Ives
Performer: Richard Pinel - organ
An exact contemporary of Thomas Tallis, Christopher Tye (c. 1505-1572) flourished chiefly in the reign of Edward VI and left an important liturgical corpus much admired in his day. For its second harmonia mundi recording, the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, led by Bill Ives, turns to his seldom heard cathedral music for both the Latin and English rites.
Christopher Tye (c. 1500-1572) lived through perhaps the most exciting and challenging period of English history-at least for a composer of church music. The reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I included the most florid and fertile period of Roman church music, the Reformation, assorted Roman Catholic and Protestant conflicts, the creation of the Anglican Church, the brief revival of Catholicism, and the liturgical demands and officially sanctioned musical restrictions imposed along with the new Anglican Prayer Book in 1549. With a couple of exceptions, Tye's best work is found in his Latin compositions, among them In pace in idipsum and the two structurally substantial and musically magnificent 5- and 7-part Psalm motets that conclude the program, Miserere mei, Deus and Peccavimus cum patribus nostris.
Hardly anyone performs Tye, partly because not much of his music has survived in complete or reliable form, but also because it's uneven in quality, ranging from the most sublime to the more mundane (including the square, routinely chordal Actes of the Apostles, not presented here). As mentioned, most of the sublime stuff was inspired by the Roman Catholic liturgy, including one of the period's finest Masses (Euge bone), but many of the Reformation-era works also deserve high praise, including the flowing, skillfully imitative I lift my heart to thee, my God--and no matter what the origin or context, we can sit back and simply enjoy the Choir of Magdalen College's interpretations.
The choir's expertise in this music, whether thickly textured and weighted toward inner or lower voices or demanding absolute accuracy of pitch from exposed, high trebles, is unassailable, and conductor Bill Ives is to be commended for his assured tempos and careful phrasing--and for his deft handling of several dramatic moments where Tye suddenly breaks the momentum before just as suddenly reviving its pulse. The choral sound features a boy-treble quality that's pleasingly bright but also unusually warm and round, supported by rich-toned lower voices, recorded in the complementary acoustic of the Magdalen College chapel. This is a first-rate program with performances to match, an ideal companion to the ASV recording of Tye's Euge bone Mass from Ely Cathedral.
01. Omnes gentes plaudite manibus
02. In pace in indipsum
03. Dum transisset
04. I lift my heart to thee, my God
05. Save me, O God
06. Praise ye the Lord, ye children
07. Rubum quem
09. Nunc dimittis
10. Christus resurgens
11. To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
12. Miserere mei Deus
13. Amavit eum Dominus
14. Peccavimus cum patribus nostris
This post has been edited by kgkk on 26-11-2012, 23:09