Man is a strange creature. He is born with the body of a beast but is blessed (some say, "cursed") with what many think of as a "soul". In pursuit of the craving of that soul for going beyond itself, towards something thought to be higher, even the highest, he created the Hymn. From the most ancient of times, men have sung to that ideal, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God and quite early in its history, the Church has developed a rich repertoire of sacred music. It has never since died. An important part of such music in the Middle Ages was polyphonic choral singing. Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), one of the most important English composers, was even given a patent for that. In 1973, a group of English singers gathered around Peter Phillips. The group devoted themselves to Renaissance sacred music and called themselves the Tallis Scholars. At their 40th anniversary, they decided on a world tour. They sang in 16 countries around the world. Last night, they came to the City Hall and offered us a goodly sample of their golden hits.
Their opening song was a 6-part Hosanna to the Son of David by Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623), first contemplative and then joyous.