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Thomas Tallis



All the King's Men

English Tudor music for men's voices


Wednesday, June 3rd at 7.30pm

The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth



Call to mind the sound-world of the Tudor church and we tend to think of soaring, ethereal treble lines with falsetto counter-tenors below them in the choir. In fact, there is no evidence that a Tudor listener would have recognised the sound of either. A Venetian visitor to the Chapel Royal, for instance, commented that 'the English counterbasses probably have not their equal in the world'. This programme highlights the amazing wealth of Tudor church music written for menís voices, from the staggeringly ornate music of the Eton Choirbook to the distilled simplicity of Tallis and Byrd. Sung in Elizabethan pronunciation, and without falsettists, this programme illustrates the radical results of Simon Ravens' published research.


Musica Contexta

Simon Lillystone, Alistair Brookshaw, Ben Rayfield, Mark Williams, Andrew Hope, Simon Ravens, Tony Purves, Chris Hunter & Ed Saddington



John Browne Stabat Virgo Mater Christi

Chant Salve regina celorum

Edmund Sturton Gaude Virgo Mater Christi

Chant Hymn: Inventor rutili

John Taverner Dum Transiset a 4

Chant Hymn: Jam Christus astra ascenderat

John Sheppard Spiritus sanctus


John Sheppard I give you a new commandement

Chant (Tonus pregrinus) When Israel came out of Egypt

Thomas Tallis Hear the Voice & Prayer

Chant (Merbecke) Creed

Thomas Tallis Benedictus

Robert White Regina Coeli

William Byrd Agnus Dei (Mass for 3 voices)

William Byrd Defecit in Dolore




Musica Contexta performed some of the music for the All the King's Men concert on BBC Radio 3, In Tune, Tuesday 2nd June, betweem 6.15 and 6.45 pm.


This concert took place in the Conventual Church of the Order of Malta, Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, Grove End Road NW8, just a stone's throw from St. John's Wood tube station.


Tickets: £12 (Concs £10) in advance (019 4360 7170)


If you wish to find out more about Musica Contexta's future concerts, please email concerts@musicacontexta.com.



Eton Choirbook