Beauty and Dissonance

The sixteenth century sound world of England and Flanders

By the middle of the sixteenth century, due to the advance of the printing press and the travels of European courts (particularly Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, 1519 - 1556), composers all over Europe were adapting their compositional styles. The music of this programme compares and contrasts the musical artistry of the English and Franco-Flemish schools, as well as illuminating the fascinating use of dissonance in several composers' works. Through exploring this music the question is also raised as to how much influence the one school had on the other.

Nicolas Gombert employs dissonant harmonies on a regular basis, with his melodic lines planned for striking musical effect rather than clear verbal declamation. The Englishman John Sheppard also favoured similar rich and dissonant textures. The works of other composers, such as Vaet, Tallis and Tye reveal, however, that the period bore witness to a greater variety of musical direction. Did some composers shun, while others embrace the dissemination of printed music from other nations?

Includes works by: Gombert, Tallis, Tye, Vaet, Regnart, Sheppard, De Monte and Byrd.