The Tallis Scholars and the Lamentations of Jeremiah
Founded in 1973 by Peter Phillips, the Tallis Scholars have established themselves as one of the preeminent vocal ensembles dedicated to the performance of sacred Renaissance music, earning critical acclaim for their many recordings. One of the Tallis Scholar’s more recent releases focuses on the Lamentations of Jeremiah as set by Spanish composers Tomás Luis de Victoria and Juan de Padilla.
Peter Phillips shared with us his thoughts on Spanish Renaissance art and music, as well as the music of Victoria and the Lamentations.
Director Peter Phillips also discussed with us the sound of the ensemble at its inception compared with today’s. With nearly four decades in between, you might imagine a significant difference, but Phillips has some fascinating thoughts on the matter.
The Gresham Autograph
It isn’t hard to imagine that, as much music as he composed during his relatively short life, Henry Purcell must have had his favorite pieces. One place to look for a few of them is in the notebook of songs known as the Gresham Autograph.
Containing dozens of songs by Purcell and a few contemporaries, including his brother Daniel, the autograph is made up of pieces primarily from stage works and odes. We don’t know for who or what occasion Purcell compiled the autograph, maybe for a student, but it does contain many of his most tuneful and popular songs.
Our featured release of the week is a Virgin Classics recording with ensemble L’Arpeggiata. Theorbist Christina Pluhar directs the group in a Passion-themed program which brings together early baroque songs and instrumental pieces.
Countertenor Phillipe Jarrousky and soprano Nuria Rial join the ensemble in a number of solos and duos, while the male vocal quartet Barbara Furtuna performs a few of their signature Cosican polyphonic pieces.