While at Cambridge this last fall I spent a lot of time with my great friend Dr. David Skinner. Besides making music together with his excellent Chapel Choir and drinking some INCREDIBLE wines, we spent many evenings listening to, and talking about, early music. Those evenings were some of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had, my heart and mind filled with the sounds of perfect 15th and 16th century counterpoint.
To that end, I’ve asked David if he would begin a tenure here as a guest blogger, and he has graciously agreed. So please submit any questions you might have for him about early music, the English choral tradition, Cambridge – you name it. David is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in the field, so you can really throw him some power-questions.
And this is a great time for me to plug his new brilliant new album with Alamire, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd: Cantiones Sacrae 1575. Here is my favorite track from the disc, Byrd’s Emendaemus in Melius. (Click here for a free download of the score).
In 1575 Thomas Tallis, then an ‘aged man’, and his pupil and friend William Byrd, who was in his mid to late 30s, paid tribute to Elizabeth I by selecting 17 motets each for their Cantiones Sacrae (‘Sacred Songs’), the first major printed collection of music to be published in England. Many of these works have since become staple in the repertoire of church and chamber choirs throughout the world. This is the first recording to present the Cantiones in their entirety, by the same group of singers, and in the composers’ original order of publication. STUNNING music and singing.
iTunes USA, click here. (Available Jan. 25th)
iTunes UK, click here. (Available now)
Amazon US, click here. (Available Jan. 25th)
Amazon UK, click here. (Available now)