Bearing the Bell: the Hymns of Thomas Tallis

Andrew Robson (Performer)

Research output: Non-traditional research outputDigital or Visual products


In the spirit of Jan Garbarek's bestselling Officium with the Hilliard Ensemble, comes Andrew Robson's Bearing the Bell - the Hymns of Thomas Tallis. Here we see Robson, along with three of the finest and most respected jazz musicians in Australia, if not the world - Sandy Evans, James Greening and Steve Elphick - explore and interpret the hymns of English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis. By transforming the haunting and mesmeric melodies of Tallis, Andrew Robson is engaging with the hymns at the deepest and most profound level. This is musical collaboration at its most extreme - a collaboration across nearly half a millennium! This album is destined to become a classic and will garner acclaim for its beauty, exquisite arrangements and sheer genius of expression.

Andrew Robson is not the first musician to fall in love with music penned nearly half a millennium ago by the Tudor composer Thomas Tallis. Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; is one of the best-loved 20th century classical works. The young Australian improvising saxophonist is, however, likely the first jazz artist with an album subtitled ‘The Hymns of Thomas Tallis’. His is a respectful, loving embrace; Robson’s Bearing the Bell is quite free of swinging and/or ‘Swingle’-esque inanities. This is profoundly lyrical, quietly adventurous instrumental music for Robson’s and Sandy Evans’ saxophones, James Greening’s trombone and pocket trumpet and Steve Elphick’s double bass. (Doug Spencer ABC Radio National)
Original languageEnglish
PublisherABC Music
Media of outputCD
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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