Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket CD
The story of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket has been told many times. There are contemporary eye-witness accounts of how the four knights rushed in and slew the Archbishop in his own cathedral of Canterbury; there are scholarly modern historical studies; the story is told in the stained-glass windows of the cathedral itself; and of course there are Chaucers entertaining Canterbury Tales,
This recording approaches the story from another angle: it is an attempt to capture through music each major act of the grim drama as it unfolds.It is rare to find intact the office music for the feast of St Thomas. In nearly all the sources the relevant pages have been torn out or defaced in the 16th century by order of Henry VIII.
However, in an early 13th-century noted breviary from Lewes Priory it appears in pristine condition and it is from this source that the music for the recording has been transcribed.
1 In rama sonat gemitus
2 The ‘Unfinished Vespers’ of 29 Decmber 1170
3 The Death Knell
5 Chorus Angelorum
6 Sequence: Spe mercedis et corone
7 Thomas manum mittit
8 Post sex annos
9 Ex summa rerum leticia
10 Lauds for the Feast of St Thomas, Archbishop and Martyr
11 Antiphon at Magnificat for the Feast of St St Thomas: Felix locus