(Movimentum pro) Thomas Tallis In Memoriam is the first of two compositions I have composed in homage to arguably England’s greatest composer, Thomas Tallis. The second piece, composed as a commission from Edward Clark, a distant relative of Tallis himself, for the 2009 St Petersburg Festival of British Music, was a motet for 40 solo voices. This piece was spiritually indebted to Tallis’ great Spem In Alium whilst musically being more of an exploration of the possibilities of multilayered polyphony more akin to Ligeti and Xenakis than Tallis. Movimentum though, rather in the tradition of Stravinsky’s ‘homages’ to composers like Pergolesi and Gesualdo, reimagines music by Tallis for an ensemble of contemporary instruments which Tallis himself would probably not even have recognized. The combination of instruments is not random either, as this piece was composed at the same time as an Octet that I composed for the Serenata Chamber Ensemble back in 1989 for premiere in the Holywell Music Rooms in Oxford. Movimentum was performed in the same concert.
Duration: ca. 9′ | Pages: 27 | Year: 1991
Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabass