The music of one the Tudor Era’s greatest composers is featured along with music of his contemporaries in an examination of the difficult balancing act lead by William Byrd as he juggled his fervent Catholic beliefs with his loyalty to the Crown. Being one of Elizabeth I’s favourites allowed him some latitude, but he still had to tread carefully in a world where he could not speak openly about his personal faith. Featured works include the Mass for Four Voices and the Great Service.
Carlo Gesualdo led a very colourful life, but his notoriety stems from the juxtaposition of being both an accomplished musician and a murderer. His innovative style of composition featuring the liberal use of chromatic harmonies mirrored the violence in his life, and leaves the listener very much unsettled. His setting of the Tenebrae Responsaries is the featured work in this pre-Lenten concert, along with other works from the late 16th century.
A light, shining in the darkness. It is a common metaphor, often used to represent goodness and truth, and has been an inspiration to composers throughout history. In our final subscription concert of the season, Tallis Choir examines the use of this metaphor in music over the last 10 centuries, from Gregorian and Byzantine chant to contemporary settings, including works by Victoria, Elgar, Harris and Whitacre.