The Tallis Scholars

Hymns to the Virgin

Thursday 16 December 2021

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The Tallis Scholars resume their annual festive visits to the Howard Assembly Room with a seasonal programme of sacred music stretching from the Renaissance to the 21st century.

The Virgin Mary has inspired composers since the earliest days of sacred music as an art form. In this concert the Tallis Scholars present a selection of such inspirations, from both the Catholic and Orthodox traditions, ranging from Josquin to Stravinsky.

Josquin’s Missa Ave maris stella (whose title refers to the beautiful concept of Mary as Star of the Sea) is one of his most finely wrought. Francisco Guerrero was known in his lifetime as ‘El Cantor de Maria’, and here are two pieces to show why. Matthew Martin’s Sanctissima is a newly-composed fantasy on the Guerrero which precedes it.

Through homages by Lassus and Pärt we finally come to Isaac’s magnificent Virgo prudentissima, which not only hymns Mary, but also the Cherubim, the archangel Michael and Maximilian I of Austria in one of the most splendid ceremonial motets of all time.

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  • Howard Assembly Room

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Lassus, Orlande de: Alma redemptoris mater
Josquin des Prez: Missa Ave maris stella


Guerrero, Francisco: Maria Magdalene et altera Maria
Guerrero, Francisco: Ave virgo sanctissima
Martin, Matthew: Sanctissima
Stravinsky, Igor: Bogoroditse devo
Pärt, Arvo: Virgencita
Isaac, Heinrich: Virgo prudentissima


Howard Assembly Room

Howard Assembly Room

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