In this programme, The Marian Consort explored exquisite music of mourning from the Renaissance. Works by Portuguese composers living under Habsburg rule and longing for the return of the mythic King Sebastian manifest their political sentiment in their lachrymose texts. Similarly, Thomas Tallis’s settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, written during the Protestant Elizabeth I’s reign, had very specific political and personal resonances for their composer: Tallis was a devout Catholic and is thought to have made his religious convictions clear in his choice of words. The concert closed with one of the most famous of all Renaissance motets of mourning: Allegri’s Miserere, written for the singers of the Cappella Sistina in Rome, with the elaborate vocal decorations improvised in performance (including the famous top Cs) becoming an essential part of its identity and appeal.
Lobo Pater Peccavi
Morago Oculi Mei
Tallis Lamentations of Jeremiah I
Magalhaes Commissa mea pavesco
Morago Versa est in luctum
Fernandez Circumdederunt me delores mortis
Allegri Miserere mei, Deus