Following the success of the last two year’s singing day concerts in Minchinhampton, The Cappella Singers and Friends decided this year to spend an afternoon rehearsing English unaccompanied church music from the Tudor period, followed by a short concert at 7 p.m.
So, at 2 p.m on the day, 28 of us assembled in the Church and rehearsed the pieces listed below until just after 5 p.m. The programme included two pieces from the reign of Henry VII. Walter Lambe and Robert Fayrfax composed music for the Eton Choirbook, one of three sources that have survived of sacred music from the 15th century. Their music abounds with rhythmic excitement.
John Sheppard served at Magdalen College, Oxford, and subsequently at the Chapel Royal, where his name appears by 1552 on the list of Gentlemen. We sang two of his motets: the beautiful Libera nos, salva nos; and an extended setting of Filiae Hierusalem, for varying combinations of voices.
Finally, we sang two motets by Thomas Tallis, who (with his pupil William Byrd) was given special permission by Queen Elizabeth I to print Latin sacred music at a time when public Catholic worship was illegal.
The six works performed were:
The Cappella Singers: Registered Charity no 262530