I strive to make my editions both performer friendly and academically informed. Where necessary, I provide suggestions of suitable musica ficta above the stave but it should be noted that Directors need not feel bound to my decisions if they prefer alternative ficta. For example, in my editions of Clemens Ego flos campi and Tallis Loquebantur variis linguis, I have suggested flattening the leading notes at cadences, creating much stronger false relations. However, this will not work in every performance scenario (nor will it be to everyone’s taste). As with all my ficta suggestions, I believe they are plausible outcomes but for the reasons outlined above, Directors may choose to follow or ignore my suggestions as necessary.
Summer 2019 update – 200 Titles!
Most of my editing so far in 2019 has been dedicated to the music of Clemens non Papa and Francisco Guerrero. The series of 16 titles by Clemens non Papa represents only a tiny fraction of his output and yet today he is little known beyond his stunning Ego flos campi. A quick examination of his music shows he was no one-hit-wonder and I am delighted to have 5 Masses and 11 motets available. The Masses in particular have unjustly fallen into obscurity and I hope these new editions will rekindle interest in these glorious pieces.
The Guerrero series was centered around the 7 Mass Ordinary settings he published in his first book of Masses (1566), containing some of his finest works in the genre – Missa Sancta et immaculata is a personal favourite of mine! All 7 are masterpieces, showing Guerrero’s compositional abilities at their most complex (canonical writing and ostinati are often employed) whilst still taking into account the Council of Trent’s desire for more intelligible polyphonic music. The final Mass in the series – Missa In te Domine speravi – also marked a personal achievement for me as it was my 200th individual title in my collection! Alongside the Masses, I have also published a selection of Motets covering a variety of liturgical themes and voicings and I hope these pieces will demonstrate why Guerrero deserves to be ranked alongside his illustrious contemporaries Victoria and Morales.
I’m now beginning to turn my attention towards future composer anniversaries: In anticipation of the 500th anniversary of Josquin’s death in 2021, I have added Jean Richafort’s Missa Pro defunctis (written in memory of Josquin) to my collection am planning a series of Josquin motets. Finding a suitable pitch for modern SATB choirs is often tricky with late 15th/early 16th century music (the concept did not exist then) but I hope to find a workable compromise to ensure the widest possible audience can appreciate Josquin’s work!
New Year, new composers
Happy New Year from Gareth Thomas Music! 2018 was a busy year with over 80 new titles published here on the website – some pieces for the first time at pitches suitable for SATB choirs! My series of works by Cristóbal de Morales, completed in the Autumn of 2018, featured a number of these, including his Missa Ave maris stella and Missa Benedicta es caelorum regina.
2019 promises to be a very exciting time for new editions. I’m currently midway through editing a selection of works by Clemens “non Papa”. His fame today rests on only a handful of works – particularly his wonderful setting of Ego flos campi a7 – but he was a prolific composer, writing over 200 motets and 15 Masses. With this new series, I’m hoping to make some of his other sacred works more well-known – much of it is not easily available in modern editions. Currently 10 motets and 1 Mass are available with 4 more more Masses in the pipeline.
I’ve also added my first few pieces by Francisco Guerrero to my collection; The famous canonical motet Ave virgo Sanctissima and his Missa Congratulamini mihi (complimenting my edition of Crecquillon’s motet of the same name). During the course of 2019, I’ll be working my way through his first book of Masses, published in Paris in 1566, and look forward to sharing these wonderful settings in due course.
Finally, I’m taking the opportunity to get ahead on some Easter, Ascensiontide and Pentecost music by looking at Byrd’s settings for the these Feasts from his Gradualia publications. As is so often the case with Byrd’s later works, finding a suitable pitch for SATB choirs is often an issue (vocal ranges of nearly 2 octaves are not uncommon!) but that is one of the challenges of editing this glorious music!
Summer 2018 update
Recently I’ve been making a concerted effort to ensure I have a good range of simple 4-part SATB repertoire available. This new series comprises Motets, Masses and Canticles and the composers represented include Byrd, Lobo, Palestrina, Tye and Victoria. As usual, there is a mix of well-known and less familiar music on offer and you can view this continually-expanding collection here.
I’m thrilled to be supplying scores for various ensembles and courses this summer, including Genesis Sixteen and The Early Music Academy. Genesis Sixteen will be looking at Vigilate and EMA will be studying Taverner’s Western Wind Mass, as well my revision of Percy Buck’s edition of Tallis’s Lamentations (I hope to have the latter available on the website in due course).
Finally, on my desk at the moment is a selection of motets by Palestrina (mostly from his Song of Songs collection) and, following on from my recent edition of Gaude plurimum, I’ve set myself the daunting task of editing Taverner’s Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, arguably his finest work. I look forward to publishing this glorious music over the coming weeks
A personal milestone – 200 and counting!
I’m delighted to say that following the publication of Palestrina’s Magnificat Primi Toni a8, it takes the total number of editions I have available to 200! Thank you to everyone who has helped me this far – my customers, my musical colleagues – but particularly Jamie Wright without who’s technical support (and patience!) this website would never have been built.
I’m always looking to add new repertoire to my collection – please do get in touch via the contact form to make requests – and I look forward to sharing many more editions here. Here’s to the next 200…!
April 2018 update – Crecquillon, Victoria and site improvements
The lead-up to Easter was a particularly busy period with singing work but I did manage to complete a series of pieces by the Flemish composer Thomas Crecquillon (c.1505-c.1557) during March. Despite being one of the greatest composers of his generation, his music today is not well-known outside of academic circles and deserves to be heard more often. I’m very pleased to have four Motets and three Masses available, including the stunning Missa Mort m’a privé. As always, editions are available for both high and low voice choirs and sold in multiples of 10.
My next project is a new series of works by Tomás Luis de Victoria (arguably the greatest Spanish composer of the Renaissance) and will include Masses, Motets, Hymns and Magnificats. Full details of the pieces included can be found here.
Finally, I’ve also taken the time to make some improvements to the website. As well as browsing by composer, you can now browse and search for editions in all sorts of different ways, including voicing, genre, language, nationality and season/theme. Click here to find out more.
February 2018 update
It’s been a busy start to 2018 with no fewer than 13 new titles published since the beginning of the year. I began by expanding my collection of English Masses and I’m delighted to have available a number of settings by Sheppard, Tallis, Taverner and Tye. Recent additions include Tallis’s Missa Salve intemerata and the Western Wind Masses of Sheppard, Taverner and Tye. All are wonderful examples of their respective composer’s output and, unusually for English Pre-Reformation Masses, are short enough to be sung as part of modern Church services.
Staying with English music, I’ve made significant additions to my collection of music by Robert White. His Psalm motets are some of the finest examples of Tudor polyphony but good modern performing editions for SATB choirs are not readily available. Four Motets and one Respond are now available at both the written pitch and transposed up for modern mixed-voice choirs.
It’s also been a busy time for commissions and I’m very pleased to have supplied bespoke editions for Cardiff Polyphonic Choir and The Lea Singers. I hope to have these available on the website in due course.
Finally, on my desk at the moment, I have three Masses by Thomas Crecquillon – Missa Domine Deus omnipotens, Missa D’ung petit mot and Missa Mort m’a privé – and I look forward to publishing these wonderful pieces over the next few weeks.