Most of Tallis’s keyboard works are contained in the Mulliner Book, a 133-folio manuscript dating from the middle of the sixteenth century in which is found a great variety of liturgical organ pieces, dances, and arrangements of vocal and instrumental works by composers of the generation that preceded the great flowering of virginal music spearheaded by William Byrd. In contrast, a handful of pieces dating from a later period which might have been composed for performance in the Elizabethan Chapel Royal show a completely different complexion. They include two treatments of the plainchant Felix namque (the Sarum offertory Felix namque es, sacra virgo Maria) dated 1562 and 1564 in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, whose virtuoso manner is unparalleled in any other European keyboard culture of that period.
Rachelle Taylor leads an international performing career. The subject of her PhD dissertation in Musicology explores the employment of English composers in the Elizabethan and early Jacobean secret services.
Instruments: Wingfield Organ, Wetheringsett Organ, “Mar” Virginals, Theewes Harpsichord
Recorded at the King’s Chapel of the University of Aberdeen, Scottland