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Tudor music echoes beyond “Wolf Hall”

  • National Centre for Early Music Walmgate York, YO1 9TL United Kingdom (map)

In a concert on Saturday 21st March, entitled “Reformation and Revival”, The Micklegate Singers explore links between the music of the Tudor era and that of the 20th and 21st centuries.

For centuries, the Tudor dynasty has exerted a fascination on artists, novelists and film-makers, thanks to huge personalities such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and the politics and intrigue that surrounded them. However, the sixteenth century and the religious upheaval of the Reformation also saw the emergence of two key British musical geniuses: Thomas Tallis and William Byrd.

Despite often being in danger because of their own Roman Catholic faith, Tallis and Byrd produced some of the most captivating choral works ever written in Britain. They were masters not only of polyphony, the interweaving of different lines of music into one harmonic whole, but also of the period’s deadly religious politics.

A number of their wonderful pieces of music feature in the Micklegate Singers’ latest concert, together with more recent works by British composers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Charles Villiers Stanford, and American film composer James Lavino, all of whom have taken inspiration from the Tudor masters.

The Micklegate Singers is one of York’s oldest mixed-voice chamber choirs, having celebrated their 50th anniversary season in 2013. Hailed as being “in better shape than ever” (York Press review December 2014), the choir is going from strength to strength under their Musical Director, Nicholas Carter.

The concert takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 21st March 2015, at the National Centre for Early Music on Walmgate, York.


For information, the full concert programme is as follows:

William Byrd - Ne Irascaris, Domine
Thomas Tallis - Sancte Deus
Thomas Tallis - Tunes for Archbishop Parker’s Psalter
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Mass in G Minor
James Lavino - Beati Quorum Via
Charles Villiers Stanford - Beati Quorum Via
Charles Villiers Stanford - Justorum Animae
William Byrd - Justorum Animae

For more information, please contact Sarah or Chris Sketchley on 01904 629899 or email