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Felix Namque I (1562)

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Uploaded by: Marco_Lo_Muscio (11/27/17)
Composer: Tallis, Thomas
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: Laurenskerk - Main Organ - 1973 Marcussen & Son
Software: Hauptwerk
Genre: Medieval and Renaissance
"Felix Namque" is one of the masterpiece of the English ancient music and one of the most difficult and intricate pieces to play of this period.
Tallis (c1505-85) was organist of Waltham Abbey at the time of its dissolution in 1540, and is best known for his 40 part motet Spem in Alium. Felix Namque is one of a pair of 'Offertories': unique both for their structure, virtuosity and duration. They might have been written prior to the Reformation for liturgical use, tho their blatantly applause-seeking codas render this improbable! It was the custom in the late medieval period to substitute the chanting of an Offertory hymn to the Virgin, Felix Namque, with a keyboard elaboration of the plainchant or the cantus firmus. By using its entirety as equal-length notes in the treble Tallis commits himself to a long piece, which he builds throug many rhythmic developments into a near-Lisztian climax while keeping everything subordinated to the cantus firmus. Probably written for organ, Felix Namque works equally well on harpsichord. Doubtless intended as a tour de force it set bench-marks that were not overtaken for a century, both in keyboard technique and what we would now call 'pure' composition, that is to say music that was intended neither for the practical purposes of dance or devotion.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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