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Music for the Tudors: Tallis, Sheppard & White (2015)

Byrd Ensemble, directed by Markdavin Obenza


Released September 2015

iTunes, Spotify

CD Booklet (PDF)



Markdavin Obenza, director


1. John Sheppard (1515-1558) - Media vita

2. Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) - Videte miraculum

3. Thomas Tallis - Salvator mundi I

4. Robert White (1538-1574) - Christe qui lux IV

5. Thomas Tallis - In manus tuas

6. Thomas Tallis - Lamentations I

7. Anonymous - Save radix

8. Thomas Tallis - Gaude gloriosa


TOTAL TIME: 75 minutes




WHEN MARK AND JOSH ASKED ME TO WRITE PROGRAMME NOTES FOR THEIR UPCOMING CD LAST YEAR, I WAS HONOURED! These are two incredibly dedicated and exciting musicians and what they’ve achieved with the Byrd Ensemble is extraordinary. I met Mark in 2002 when we both attended a residential course run by the Tallis Scholars in England and I met Josh for the first time in the summer of 2014, though we were already connected through many parallel strands of our strikingly similar musical and academic interests.


They mentioned that this CD was to be a less academic and more personal offering to their audiences. This was to be a collection of music that meant a lot to them personally, throughout their lives as developing artists and admirers of this wonderful repertory. I thought it might be an interesting approach, therefore, not to only provide historical and analytic information about the music—which is what is most often contained in CD liner material—but to present a more personal and human discussion of what this music means and how it works. Because the music is well known and already widely recorded, it is hoped that the more academically curious reader might endeavor online or to a library to gain some of the basic factual information about the music and the composers presented here, and I’ve included some pointers to help along the way. What follows, therefore, is a wide-ranging conversation between the three of us about this music, its history, how we interpret it, what we find fascinating about it, and how our individual stories have shaped our relationship with it.

Music for the Tudors: Tallis, Sheppard & White (2015)

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