If Ye Love Me

    As we celebrate two of the greatest of Englishmen, here is a 1565 motet by Thomas Tallis, one of the greatest of English composers (along with William Byrd), If Ye Love Me, which advocates, as the text continues, ‘keep my commandments’. This was at the height of the Protestant ‘reformation’, and may have been the ‘unreformed Roman Catholic’ Tallis’ subtle rebuke to the antinomianism implicit in Luther’s principles. The moral law is the foundation of love, to ‘will the good of someone’, even unto the point of offering our very lives. Here is a transcendent version under the direction of Nigel Short: