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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Magnus Williamson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
The Bassus part of two pieces, an anonymous Latin Litany and Thomas Tallis’s O sacrum convivium, was copied into a small fascicle bound into a copy of the Sarum Processional printed in Antwerp in 1545 (now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris). Litany petitions for ‘pregnant Queen Mary’ were written into both this book and a second copy of the same 1545 Processional (now in Lambeth Palace), which has a petition for King Philip as well as the Medius part of the same polyphonic Litany. We can date the copying of these items to the joint reign of Mary Tudor and Philip II of Spain (25 July 1554–17 November 1558), and specifically to the period between November 1554 and the summer of 1555 when Mary was believed to be carrying a Catholic heir. The two books belonged to singers associated with Westminster Abbey, suggesting putative performance contexts for the Litany and motet, particularly in January 1555. Tallis’s motet must therefore have been composed a decade earlier than has previously been assumed.
Author(s): Williamson M
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Early Music
Print publication date: 31/05/2016
Online publication date: 12/07/2016
Acceptance date: 20/05/2016
Date deposited: 09/08/2016
ISSN (print): 0306-1078
ISSN (electronic): 1741-7260
Publisher: Oxford Journals
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