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Ave Dei patris filia

Tallis: Ave dei patris filia

It would be wrong to imply that Tallis’s Ave dei patris is unworthy of our attention. The work has a distinct personality—in particular, the qualities of sobriety and restraint that inform so much of Tallis’s later music are already in evidence—and it gives us a rare opportunity to observe an early Tudor composer learning his craft. Until recently, Ave dei patris has been considered unperformable because it survives in a very incomplete and corrupt state: large portions of the treble and tenor parts are missing, and some sources apparently preserve the music in a modernised form reflecting the taste of the 1600s rather than that of the 1530s.

Nick Sandon,10th December 1998


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