It was not until 1978 that the manuscript of Against Enemies was found behind plasterwork in the walls of Corpus Christi College, Oxford: the music was recognised by scholars as coming from Tallis’s grandest motet Gaude Gloriosa. But only recently did musicologist and conductor David Skinner identify the text as being the work of Katherine Parr, whose translations were in the vanguard of worship in English rather than Latin.
With sentiments such as 'they are traitors and rebels against me' and 'let the wicked sinners return unto hell, and let them fall and be taken down into the pit which they have digged', Against Enemies hardly chimes with today's more inclusive faith. Nevertheless, the first performance in modern times of the music is something of a coup for early music specialists Alamire, directed by David Skinner.
In a programme of sacred music from the time of Henry VIII, Edward VII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, their Good Friday Songs of Reformation, part of the St John's Smith Square Holy Week Festival, will now feature this discovery.
Music of this period manages to be both lavish and austere, and, in the case of Against Enemies, it now comes with added detective work.
|What||Songs of Reformation, St John's Smith Square|
St John's Smith Square
30 Smith Square, London , SW1P 3HF | MAP
|Nearest tube||Victoria (underground)|
On 14 Apr 17, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£10 - £28|
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|