Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585)
Tallis’s career spanned the reigns of 4 Tudor monarchs through one of the most turbulent periods of English history. Despite this, he managed to avoid the religious controversies that beset other composers and was capable of composing in whatever style the religious climate required. Along with William Byrd (who was probably his pupil) he published Cantiones quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur in 1575 (the first musical publication by English composers), containing some of his finest motets. Contrasting with his Elizabethan Latin motets are his simple English-texted works and his opulent and lavishly scored ritual music from the reigns of Henry VIII and Mary I.