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Reformations - Beliefs that changed a continent | Brighton Consort

Saturday November 26, 2022 at 15:00
Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint
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  1. Miserere mei, Deus - Josquin des Prés
  2. Ave Maria - Marbriano de Orto
  3. Salve sancta parens a 6 - Heinrich Isaac
  4. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott - Martin Luther
  5. Estans assis aux rives aquatiques (Psalm 137) - Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
  6. Tu es petrus (6vv) - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  7. Infelix ego - William Byrd
  8. Nesciens mater - Walter Lambe
  9. Sancte Deus - Thomas Tallis
  10. Hear the voice and prayer - Thomas Tallis
  11. Verily, verily I say unto you - Thomas Tallis
  12. Agnus Dei, from Missa Puer natus est nobis - Thomas Tallis
  13. Kyrie eleison, from Mass for 4 voices - William Byrd

While the idea of this concert isn't necessarily ground breaking, it’s unusual in that it includes references to the various continental reformations going on as well as that happening in Britain. Each half contains a large, three-part piece: Josquin's 'Miserere' and Byrd's ‘Infelix ego’ respectively. These will be split up and other music placed between the prima pars, secunda pars, and tertia pars sections of the pieces. There are some great links between the radical Florentine priest Girolamo Savonarola, Josquin, and Byrd's 'Infelix' (Savonarola wrote the text of 'Infelix' and Josquin likely knew Savonarola; they were direct contemporaries. The text of 'Infelix' comes from Meditation on Psalm 50, which is the text of the Josquin).

The first half of the concert is concerned with continental Europe and includes music from the very first printed music book, Odhecaton from 1501, a 'reformation' in itself. Liturgical music by Isaac epitomises pre-reformation sounds and liturgies. The first half also contains music by Martin Luther, a Sweelinck Psalm setting in French, and Palestrina's 'Tu es Petrus', an archetypical counter-reformation piece of music for all sorts of reasons. The second half focuses on the music of Byrd and Tallis, starting out with a piece by Walter Lambe from The Eton Choirbook - the preeminent source of pre-reformation English music. We then have music that should be familiar to many of us: Tallis’ 'Sancte Deus' (pre-reformation), two anthems in English (representing Edwardine reforms), and the 'Agnus Dei' from his 'Missa Puer natus est nobis' (representing the wild swing back to elaborate Catholic worship under Mary), finally coming to a close with the 'Kyrie ' from Byrd's Mass for 4 voices (representing 1590s recusancy). Of course, the concert ends with the amazing ending of Infelix ego's tertia pars.

Holy Trinity Church
West Sussex

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