Composer: Thomas Tallis Artists: Chapelle du Roi, Alistair Dixon (conductor)
Thomas Tallis served four English monarchs during his long life. A Catholic, he survived the tumultuous religious and political upheavals and persecutions of Edward VI and Mary I. He adapted to the demands of the new reformed church, the Church of England under Henry VIII, self appointed ‘Defender of the Faith’. Under Elizabeth I a more tolerant approach to religion emerged – even the ever-present threat of invasion by Catholic Spain did not deter the Queen from allowing her subjects freedom of worship and expression. Elizabeth’s tolerance may have been due to the fact that she herself was raised as a Catholic, and it is possible that she missed the pomp and ceremony of the Mass compared to the plain and simple Protestant services of her father’s new Church. Tallis had seen most of the old choirs of the monasteries disbanded, and the music destroyed in the dissolution.
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