In 1527, the second Tudor monarch of England, Henry VIII, requested of Pope Clement VII that he might annul his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon. When Rome refused his request Henry renounced papal authority and Catholic rule, initiating a period of political and religious upheaval that would prove to be the most turbulent in the country’s history.
This programme charts how English composers reacted to the liturgical shifts spread across the Tudor dynasty of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elisabeth I. An early Catholic mass setting from Henry VIII’s reign, “The Mean Mass” by Christopher Tye (c.1505 – 1572) contrasts with works in Latin and English from the Edwardian and Elizabethan periods by Thomas Tallis (c.1505 – 1585). The last word, however, is given to Tallis’ pupil, colleague and friend William Byrd (c.1540 – 1623), through his poignant “Ne irascaris Domine”.
Mass and motets by Christopher Tye, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd.
Line-up: 5 voices