Songs for Troubled Times: Music from Reformation England

June 28, 2023, 10:00 pm

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a bucolic setting of animals and naked humans relaxing in nature
Lucas Cranach the Elder: "The Golden Age" (circa 1530)

Following the death of King Henry VIII, England went through a major religious upheaval. The English Reformation would replace the Latin liturgy with an English one; that would mean creating a body of church music for Protestant worship. A short-lived Catholic revival during the reign of Mary Tudor complicated matters for musicians, who found the art of diplomacy in navigating their sovereigns’ musical demands at least as challenging as creating music that rose above sectarianism.

Male vocal ensemble Cinquecento, specializing in music of the sixteenth century, brings us works by Tallis, Byrd, Tye, and others in a recording made live in concert November 7, 2022 in London’s Wigmore Hall. Thanks to WFMT’s association with the European Broadcastng Union, we’re able to bring you tonight’s program as a stream for thirty days folowing the broadcast. A blue “Listen” button will appear when the stream is accessible.


Thomas Tallis (ca 1505-1585): Salvator mundi [I]

Christopher Tye (ca 1505-1572/3): “Gloria” from The Mean Mass

Thomas Tallis: In jejunio et fletu; Te lucis ante terminum [I]; Lamentations I; If ye love me

Christopher Tye: “Sanctus” from The Mean Mass

John Sheppard (ca 1515-ca 1558): The Lord’s Prayer

Thomas Tallis: Te lucis ante terminum [II]

Christopher Tye: “Agnus Dei” from The Mean Mass

William Byrd (1543-1623): Ne irascaris, Domine

Robert Parsons (ca 1535-1571/72): Ave Maria

Terry Wey, countertenor
Achim Schulz & Dominic Bland, tenors
Tim Scott Whiteley, baritone
Ulfried Staber, bass