Archive for the ‘music books’ Category

I am considering a third book. This would take the form of a series of essays, in the nature of jottings, mopping up some of the untied ends which are loose in my head. Here is a possible list of topics:

  • The disconcerting effects of finding that two masterpieces one loved are not what we were told they were. This refers to the reattributing of two eight-voice motets from two composers we knew and respected (Clemens non Papa and Cristobal de Morales) to someone nobody had ever heard of, Thomas Crecquillon. As the years pass I find this has caused more and more unease, despite the fact that the reattribution is almost certainly correct.
  • Commentary on the ‘think-piece’ I did for the BBC about crossover, and my preference for concert-halls over churches, with reference to the ensuing discussion in which I distinguished between the sound and the visuals in the two types of venue. The piece is quoted below, without the discussion.
  • (more…)

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What We Really Do

My second book, What We Really Do, was published by the Musical Times. It was indeed launched on October 15th 2003 on the occasion of my 50th birthday, and within three weeks of the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Tallis Scholars, on November 3rd 1973. The book is much more concerned with the thirty years of the group than with my fifty, in support of which it is filled with 30-year’s worth of photographs of us singing and touring. The chapters finally came out as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: A history of the Tallis Scholars
  • Chapter Two: A history of Gimell Records
  • Chapter Three: Performing polyphony
  • Chapter Four: At home and abroad, the spread of interest in polyphony account of the different organisations which have invited me to direct them)
  • Chapter Five: On tour (what it’s like to be on the road for many months of the year)
  • Chapter Six: Singers’ ‘argot’ (the special language of our profession)
  • Chapter Seven: Not an interview with Peter Phillips (a spoof but earnest interview with me)
  • Chapter Eight: An extract from the Tallis Scholars Journal Epilogue
  • A complete discography
  • A complete list of all the people who have sung in the Tallis Scholars
  • Index


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English Sacred Music 1549–1649

My first book, English Sacred Music 1549–1649, issued by Gimell in 1991, sold out some years ago. About 2000 copies were made at the time in two runs. I have no plans to reprint the original as it stood, since some updating is now necessary (I wrote the bulk of the text in the mid-80s). I have recently sold the last few copies.

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