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Friday Night Organ The English are a RUNAWAY TRAIN!
The Renaissance began in Italy and influenced music throughout Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. We know from the works of Thomas Morley that the Italian renaissance had arrived in England like an invasion fleet. The English took hold of the Renaissance and RAN with it.
John Taverner (1490--1545) Not much is is known of Taverner's activities prior to 1524. He appears to have come from the East Lincolnshire. The earliest information is that in 1524 Taverner traveled to the Church of St, Botolph as a guest singer. In 1526, Taverner became the first Organist and Master of the Choristers at Christ Church Oxford appointed by none other than Cardinal Wolsey himself. The college had been founded in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey, and was then known as Cardinal College. In 1528 Taverner was reprimanded for his involvement with the Lutherans but escaped punishment for being "but a musitian". Wolsey fell from favour in 1529, and in 1530 Taverner left the college. He married a widow, one Rose Parrowe, probably in 1536, and she outlived him until 1553.
I couldn't find any Organ music and due to the similiarity in names to Sir John Taverner find stuff was tough but I found this instrumental work: In Nomine.
Thomas Tallis 1505-1585 was one of the most influential English composers of the 16th century. Little is known of his early life but in 1532 he was appointed organist of Dover Priory. In 1538 he became the organist of Waltham Abbey in Essex until it was "dissolved" in 1540. In 1543 he was appointed to Canterbury Cathedral where he composed and performed for the likes of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth the first until his death in 1585. Tallis was buried in the chancel of the parish of St. Alfege Church in Greenwich. To this day, the exact location in St Alfege Church of Tallis's remains is unknown. Just like some other guys I've mentioned previously---I sense a pattern forming here. Well in any case here is one of his "six pieces for organ".
And his "Felix Namque", and the video is pretty cool too.
William Byrd, 1539-1623 was a student of Thomas Tallis. In fact in 1575, Queen Elizabeth granted Tallis and Byrd a 21-year monopoly for the production of polyphonic music and a patent to print and publish music, which was one of the first arrangements of that type in the country. Tallis's monopoly covered 'set songe or songes in parts', and he composed in English, Latin French, Italian, or other tongues as long as they served for music in the Church or chamber. Tallis had exclusive rights to print any music, in any language.
There is no documentary evidence concerning Byrd's early musical training. His two brothers were choristers at St. Pauls Cathedral, and Byrd may have been a chorister there as well. A reference in the prefatory material to the Cantiones sacrae published by Byrd and Thomas Tallis in 1575 tends to confirm that Byrd was a pupil of Tallis in the Chapel Royal. According to Anthony Wood, Byrd was "bred up to musick under Tho. Tallis."
Byrd's first known professional employment was his appointment in 1563 as organist and master of the choristers at Lincoln Cathedral, he remained in post until 1572. His period at Lincoln was not entirely trouble-free, for on 19 November 1569 the Dean and Chapter cited him for 'certain matters alleged against him' as the result of which his salary was suspended. Since Puritanism was influential at Lincoln, it is possible that the allegations were connected with over-elaborate choral polyphony or organ playing. A second directive, dated 29 November, issued detailed instructions regarding Byrd's use of the organ in the liturgy. On 14 September 1568, Byrd married Julian Birley; it was a long-lasting and fruitful union which produced at least seven children. OK not very MGTOW BUT....
Byrd obtained the prestigious post of Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1572. Almost from the outset Byrd is named as 'organist', which however was not a designated post but an occupation for any Chapel Royal member capable of filling it. This career move vastly increased Byrd's opportunities to widen his scope as a composer and also to make contacts at Court. Queen Elizabeth I was a moderate Protestant who eschewed the more extreme forms of Puritanism and retained a fondness for elaborate ritual, besides being a music lover and keyboard player herself. Byrd's output of Anglican church music (defined in the strictest sense as sacred music designed for performance in church) is surprisingly small, but it stretches the limits of elaboration then regarded as acceptable by some reforming Protestants who regarded highly wrought music as a distraction from the Word of God.
Byrd's output of about 470 compositions amply justifies his reputation as one of the great masters of European Renaissance music. Perhaps his most impressive achievement as a composer was his ability to transform so many of the main musical forms of his day and stamp them with his own identity. Having grown up in an age in which Latin polyphony was largely confined to liturgical items for the Sarum rite, he assimilated and mastered the Continental motet form of his day, employing a highly personal synthesis of English and continental models. He virtually created the Tudor consort and keyboard fantasia, having only the most primitive models to follow. He also raised the consort song, the church anthem and the Anglican service setting to new heights. Finally, despite a general aversion to the madrigal, he succeeded in cultivating secular vocal music in an impressive variety of forms in his three sets of 1588, 1589 and 1611. I should point out that I have our composers a little out of order SORRY Thomas Morley was also a student of Tallis. First up: The Galliarde to the 1st pavian:
Next up is his famous work "The Bells" but this is an organ version. "Sublime magnifique une pure merveille celui qui joue de l'organe est grandiose merci". And the viseo is pretty cool also.
and in conclusion the BRILLIANT Fantasia in C
OK this week there is a BONUS WORK: Bryd's The Battell---for those really into Martial Music!
Next Week we'll explore MORE ENGLISHMEN! Dowland and Weelkes
Finally getting a moment to sit, read and listen. The works that helped shape music, tell stories and teach history, develop the refinement of entertainment.
I wonder if Thomas Tallis felt that royalty was greedy, petty and detatched, as we see governments today. Having performed in front of so many, I am sure that he had the opportunity to meet many of them personally. He did become among the first exclusive label musical artists though, bringing others under that label. He was the polyphonic Jayz.
"Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
Groucho Marx: Duck Soup (1933)