Free Download: Alamire's tribute to Tallis and Katherine Parr

This Week's Free Download

Free Download: Alamire's tribute to Tallis and Katherine Parr

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This week's free download is Tallis's 'See, Lord, and behold' with words by Queen Katherine Parr, performed by Alamire, accompanied by Fretwork and conducted by David Skinner. The disc it is taken from, 'Thomas Tallis, Queen Katherine Parr & Songs of Reformation' was our Recording of the Month in the January issue of BBC Music Magazine.

The words are taken from Katherine Parr's Ninth Psalm 'against enemies' from 'Psalms or Prayers' (London, 1544). She was the first English queen to publish a text of this kind, and she published 'Psalms or Prayers' anonymously. It was written during England's war with France, which explains the immensely patriotic language used. This fragment of the manuscript was discovered at Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1978.

'Alamire's conspicuously sophisticated, ravishingly sonorous delivery is everywhere fit for a King or Queen', writes Paul Riley. 'David Skinner negotiates an ear-opening path through the changing shapes and densities of Tallis's ever-fluid formations; the polyphony is delineated with laser-sharp precision, and he can rely on the singers' impeccable tuning to energise the most audacious harmonies.'

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