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Ave rosa sine spinis

Tallis: Ave rosa sine spinis

Ave rosa sine spinis is essentially very similar to Ave dei patris except that the composer seems rather more sure of himself. The melodic writing has a slightly greater sense of logic and purpose, the part-writing is a little rather less clumsy, and the composition seems to be more successfully shaped and paced. Where the ‘Amen’ section of Ave dei patris sounds almost like a perfunctory afterthought, that of Ave rosa makes a very effective and well-sustained climax. Like Ave dei patris, Ave rosa also survives in an incomplete state. In this case, however, far less is missing; all that has to be supplied is the treble voice in the treble-bass duet beginning ‘Benedicta tu in mulieribus’.

Nick Sandon,10th December 1998

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