The Tallis Scholars

The Tallis Scholars sing Josquin's Missa De beata virgine

Tts_eric_richmond_2 * Notes * 
The Tallis Scholars started their latest US tour in Berkeley yesterday evening. The first half of the program consisted of Josquin's Missa De beata virgine, which was sung with remarkable clarity. The nine singers were perfectly synchronized under the direction of Peter Phillips. After the intermission we heard impeccable singing of Nesbett's Magnificat. Only seven of the singers took part in the Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter by Tallis, yet they still produced a great deal of sound. Three pieces from Byrd with the full ensemble followed: Ye sacred muses, Tribulationes civitatum, and Vigilate. The singing was gorgeous, the voices blended together beautifully, and the tempi were crisp.

* Tattling * 
There was electronic noise at the beginning of the performance, some talking, a little more whispering, and a wailing hearing aid. All of this more or less subsided in the second half.

The Tallis Scholars sing Mouton, Praetorius, & Lassus

* Notes * 
The Tallis Scholars performed an incredible concert at the First Congregational Church in Berkeley an last night. Lead by Peter Phillips, the 10 singers produced a pure but almost palpable sound. Their volume was strong, though it helps that the venue has such good acoustics.

The program featured composers of the Renaissance polyphony, from Jean Mouton (c. 1459-1522) to Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629). The latter's work, Magnificat IV, was certainly a highlight of the evening, as was Lassus' Missa Bel' Amfitrit' altera. Purcell's Hear My Prayer was the encore to this fine performance.

* Tattling * 
The audience whispered, but was relatively quiet, there was one watch alarm at 9pm whilst they were singing O clap your hands from Orlando Gibbons. No one clapped at the end of the first piece, Palestrina's Surge, illuminare (part I), but there was applause for the Gloria of the Lassus.

During the intermission, one of the noisier patrons was loudly speaking about Los Baños, explaining it was "the Baths." He carefully drew out the name so it could be understood, but used an alveolar nasal rather than the appropriate palatal sound in Spanish. In all likelihood the place is actually spoken this way, but the pronunciation just never occurred to me on my drives up and down Interstate 5.