Thomas TallisThis is a featured page


Thomas Tallis as played by Joe Van Moyland AKA Joe Lean
Known as "The Father of English Cathedral Music"

born c. 1505/1514- died 23 November 1585
Character's Backstory: *This is a fictional character based loosely on a historical one*.
In actual history, Thomas Tallis served the Royal Chapel as organist and composer during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I.

Social Status: Commoner

Position: Appointed Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1543

Personality Type: His epitaph says it all

Signature Look: Messy hair

Endearing Traits: His genius for sacred music and his ability to hide his true faith. Gentle, soft-spoken personality. Perceptive and modest.

Annoying Traits: To some, his hair


"...little is known about Thomas Tallis himself. His date of birth is murky, and at best music history scholars can narrow it down to "about 1505." Tallis' musical education as a youth is not known either, though he was probably a choirboy somewhere (it has been suggested he was probably one of the "children of the Chapel Royal," but there is nothing to confirm this), as that was how many composers in his day learned their music.

The first definite date marking the start of Tallis' musical career is 1532, when he was appointed organist of Benedictine Priory in Dover. The year 1537 found him at his second job, organist at St Mary-le-Hill in Billingsgate, London, and then on to Waltham Abbey in London until its dissolution in 1540 under Henry VIII. The unemployed Tallis then set out to find work, which he did in 1541 at Canterbury Cathedral as a lay clerk. Finally, he settled into the King's service, appointed as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1543. He sang with the Chapel Royal, played the organ, helped in running the choir, and continued to compose.

In 1575, with William Byrd, Tallis secured a monopoly on printing music and music paper in England. Tallis remained with the Chapel Royal until his death in 1585, while finding time to marry his wife Joan and taking on the young Byrd as a pupil (both probably around the same time, in 1552). While Tallis was undoubtedly composing before he entered the Chapel Royal - Missa salve intemerata, for example, was written by the young composer in the late 1520s or early 1530s - it was this move into the King's service which marked the real beginning of a career which would establish him as England's main composer of church music."
[source: medieval.org]
Thomas Tallis  ep 1.7

" As he did live, so also did he die,
in mild and quiet sort (O happy man)"

~ Epitaph of Thomas Tallis


"He was a chorister at Saint Paul's Cathedral, London, becoming organist of Waltham Abbey in 1536. In 1540 his post was forfeited on the dissolution of the abbey, and in 1542 he appears as a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, continuing as such under Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queens Mary and Elizabeth. Owing to his extraordinary eminence as a musician, he retained his Chapel Royal appointment unmolested, although he steadfastly clung to the old Faith amid all the changes from 1545 to 1584. Like Byrd he was an avowed Catholic, and even Elizabeth herself connived at the retention of Tallis in his court appointments. In conjunction with Byrd he obtained the valuable monopoly of printing music and ruled music paper from 1575 till his death, and he was also given lands valued at 30 pounds sterling per year by Elizabeth, as well as various tithes. He was buried in Greenwich parish church. The metrical epitaph which was placed over his tomb was subsequently set to music by De Cooke. His fecundity as a composer was enormous, and he wrote several tours de force including a forty-part motet "Spem aliam non habui" ["Spem in alium nunquam habui" — ed.]. Many of his masses are of great merit, especially his "Salve intemerata" and his mass for four voices. Owing to his religious views most of his compositions were not printed during his lifetime, but in recent years his manuscript work has received much attention from skilled editors.
[source: Catholic Encyclopedia ]

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CHARACTER CONNECTIONS


Family Members


Romances
William Compton ( fictional -- no historical support for this as Compton who was at least 23 - 33 years older than Tallis died in 1528 and there is no record of Tallis in court before 1532)
Twin sisters Jane and Joan; he marries Joan.


Marriage
Joan ____? 1552 (no children)





Friends
William Compton in the series
Thomas Wyatt in the series
Jane and Joan (twin sisters)
William Byrd, pupil (later in life) in reality


Enemies
None known


UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER QUOTES


  • "You know very well that an invitation from a cardinal is like an invitation from a king. We little people must put our hands into the fire if invited to." (Season 1 Episode 6)


DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES

  • Season 1, Episode 7. In the memorial service for the victims of the sweating sickness, he weeps as he conducts the choir as they sing the piece he wrote in memory of Compton.





PHOTOS
Thomas Tallis - The Tudors  Wiki Thomas Tallis
The only known authentic image of Thomas Tallis, an engraving from around 1550.
Thomas Tallis -  The Tudors Wiki
Thomas Tallis - The Tudors Wiki
Tallis' affair with Compton ends sadly
Thomas Tallis - The Tudors Wiki
Thomas Tallis - The Tudors Wiki
Tallis with Jane (Fiona Ryan)
Thomas Tallis' organ
St Alfege's Church: the Thomas Tallis organ console which is located in the north/west aisle.
Thomas Tallis - The Tudors Wiki
Thomas Wyatt with Tallis
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis epitaph at Greenwich Parish Church
Thomas Tallis - gravemarker




*Below - BBC DOCUMENTARY in 3 parts - SACRED MUSIC SERIES:
EPISODE 3 OF 4:
Tallis, Byrd and the Tudors

Four-part documentary series in which Simon Russell Beale explores the flowering of Western sacred music. Beale takes us back to Tudor England, a country in turmoil as monarchs change the national religion and Roman Catholicism is driven underground. In telling the story of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, two composers at the centre of England's own musical Renaissance, Beale visits parish churches, great cathedrals and a private home where Catholic music would have been performed in secret. This is a documentary series in which actor and former chorister Simon Russell Beale explores the flowering of Western sacred music. Taking the viewer on a pilgrimage spanning six centuries Simon presents a rich mix of personal, political and musical stories. Each episode features some of the greatest music ever written.
http://www.open2.net/sacredmusic/abou...

Episode-3: Tallis, Byrd and the Tudors
Beale takes us back to Tudor England, a country in turmoil as monarchs change the national religion and
Roman Catholicism is driven underground. In telling the story of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, two composers
at the centre of England\'s own musical Renaissance, Beale visits parish churches, great cathedrals
and a private home where Catholic music would have been performed in secret.










MsSquirrly
MsSquirrly
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