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Thomas Tallis & Queen Katherine together again!

Tallis's greatest work, Gaude gloriosa dei mater, the Queen of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury's experimentation with the new English liturgy and Henry VIII's preparation for war. A startling collaboration that has only come to light had its airing during Holy Week, and the Obsidian recording is due for release in November 2017.

The story was featured on many news and media outlets. Follow the links for reports, audio, and video about the project:

BBC Breakfast Television
BBC Today Programme
BBC Music Magazine
Classic FM
The Telegraph

Release Date: 
Nov 2017

Thomas Tallis: Songs of Reformation at St John's Smith Square, London

14 April 2017

Ahead of our Obsidian recording of THOMAS TALLIS: SONGS OF REFORMATION in May, come and hear a sample of this glorious music at Tenebrae's Holy Week Festival at St John's Smith Square, London, on Good Friday, 14 April 2017.

Book tickets here:

L'homme arme: Josquin and Palestrina at the Cologne Early Music Festival

2 April 2017

Alamire closes the prestigious Cologne Early Music Festival with a programme of Josquin and Palestrina.

Sunday, 2 April 2017, 19.30
Trinitatiskirche, Cologne


BBC Music Award Nomination for Anne Boleyn's Songbook

Following the Limelight Award for best Vocal & Choral CD of 2015, Anne Boleyn's Songbook has been chosen from over 1200 CDs as one of three BBC Music Award nominations in the Choral category for 2016.

Winners for each category are chosen by public vote, so Alamire needs YOUR vote by heading to BBC Music Awards, clicking on 'Choral Award' and, should you agree, 'Anne Boleyn's Songbook'!

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 5 April at Kings Place, and in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine.

BBC Music Awards 2016
Release Date: 
Jan 2016

Globe success for Anne Boleyn's Songbook

Following a Gramophone Award for The Spy's Choirbook, Alamire's next project - Anne Boleyn's Songbook - is already receiving universal critical acclaim. Reviews of our recent sold out performances at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in Shakespeare's Globe, London, were posted by The Arts Desk and Planet Hugill. A feature also appeared on ITV News at Ten, while Classic FM ran an article featuring video clips of our rehearsals and samples from the CD, as well as a thoughtful report by Ivan Hewitt in The Telegraph. More recently a feature by David Skinner appeared in The Guardian.

Our next UK performance of Anne Boleyn's Songbook will be at Cadogan Hall on 17 March 2016.


ITV News at Ten

Release Date: 
Sep 2015


We are delighted to announce that The Spy's Choirbook has received the coveted Gramophone Early Music Award for 2015. The ceremony will take place in London on 17 September in St John's Smith Square.

For further information see: http://www.gramophone.co.uk/awards/2015/early-music

The Spy's Choirbook

The Gramophone

Release Date: 
Aug 2015

Anne Boleyn's Songbook: Alamire's next project confirmed

Anne Boleyn is famously the the most notorious of Henry VIII’s six wives. She was brought up in France and for a time was under the guardianship of Margaret of Austria, who was patron some of the most famous composers in all of Europe. It is here where the young Anne developed her keen musical tastes, and when a collection of her favourite works began to be assembled into what is now known as the Anne Boleyn Songbook (Royal College of Music, MS 1070). The book probably remained in her possession until her execution in 1536, when she was wrongfully accused by Henry’s council of adultery with no less than five men (one being her brother, George). Another of the accused was Mark Smeaton, her music tutor and lutenist, who may have had a hand in including some of the love songs in the book.

Here Alamire explores motets and chansons by the greatest composers of the early 16th century, including Compere, Mouton, Brumel, and Josquin. Performances by Alamire are interspersed with French chansons and instrumental items for lute and harp from the songbook. Also included in the programme is a haunting setting of ‘O death rock me asleep’, the text of which is thought by some to have been written by Anne while awaiting her fate in the Tower of London.


Anne Boleyn's Songbook

Alamire Press Office

Release Date: 
Sep 2015

SPY Success! Voted the Best Classical CD of 2014 in The Times.

The Spy's Choirbook reaches No. 2 in the Official Classical Charts in the first week of release.

"...what we have here is a complete recording of the entire choirbook in its manuscript order: 34 four-voice motets from the first decade of the century by French and Franco-Flemish composers, giving a magnificent panorama of the repertory. Most of them have never been recorded before ... sounding gorgeous throughout." - David Fallows

"Teasing title, glorious music: the first complete recording (on two CDs) of all 34 pieces in a gloriously illustrated manuscript presented to Henry VIII by Petrus Alamire, a famous scribe, composer, diplomat, engineer and (allegedly) double-agent. The history is fascinating; so is the fabulous music, a tour d'horizon of early 16th-century polyphony, sonorously delivered by the choir Alamire and the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble under David Skinner."
THE TIMES (5 Stars) - Richard Morrison

"The performances are meticulous, the sound rich, and the effect often sumptuous."
THE GUARDIAN (4 Stars) - Andrew Clements

The Spy's Choirbook

The Times

Release Date: 
Oct 2014

Alamire headlines ACDA (Western) in Santa Barbara, CA

David Skinner & Alamire recently toured the USA headlining the American Choral Directors' Association Western Division 50th Anniversary Conference in Santa Barbara, before travelling on to Indianapolis and Lubbock.

David also gave a key-note lecture at ACDA on the ‘Origins of the English Choral Tradition and how the English Sing’ before the group gave two back-to-back performances to a packed house in the historic Santa Barbara Mission ‘Music and the Reformation in the 16th Century; Via Anglica’ including works by Lambe, Taverner, Tallis & Byrd.

Alamire in Santa Barbara Mission
Release Date: 
Mar 2014

The Tallis Psalter is published by Novello & Co.

Tallis Psalter: Psalms and Anthems, Canticles, Preces and Responses is the first complete edition of the Psalter, allowing, for the first time in centuries, a performance within the Anglican liturgy. Also in this volume are Tallis’s surviving English anthems, including popular works such as If ye love me and Hear the voice and prayer, and lesser-known miniatures such as A new commandment and Purge me, O Lord, the evening Dorian Service, and Preces and Responses for five voices.

The original Psalter contains Thomas Tallis’s nine tunes set to metrical verses by Archbishop Matthew Parker, and published in around 1567.Many of the tunes have since been reworked as popular hymns, while Ralph Vaughan Williams famously used the Third Tune as the basis for his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

‘It has long been my ambition to edit the Tallis Psalter for modern liturgical use, and, having performed them all with my own chapel choir in Cambridge, they certainly live up to expectation. All of the tunes are utterly infectious, and I'm not surprised that they have been so widely adapted for other uses. The added bonus of including all of his surviving English anthems in a single, practical edition promises that these superb works can be enjoyed more widely than ever before. The Dorian Service and Preces & Responses for five voices complete the set, and provide all the necessary ingredients for Choral Evensong featuring the music of Thomas Tallis.’ - David Skinner

The Tallis Psalter
Release Date: 
Mar 2013
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