Nicholas Ludford (c 1490–1557)
Ave Maria, ancilla Trinitatis
Alleluia. Ora pro nobis
Hac clara die turma
Missa Videte miraculum
The Choir of Westminster Abbey
James O’Donnell conductor/ organ
The Abbey Choir champions lesser-known Tudor composer Nicholas Ludford in this compelling introduction to his glorious music.
Ludford spent his career at the epicenter of English musical life yet is barely known to today’s audiences. Born at the start of Henry VII’s reign, his life spanned one of the most turbulent periods in the country’s history, encompassing Henry VIII’s break with Rome, the rise of Protestantism under Edward VI and the Catholic Revival under Mary Tudor.
Ludford had strong links with Westminster, working at St Stephen’s Chapel in the Palace of Westminster, and later at St Margaret’s Church. While the music on this CD was most likely written for performance at the Palace, such was the custom for musicians to move between institutions that it may have been sung in St Margaret’s or even in the Lady Chapel of the Abbey itself.
While his name may not be as familiar to modern audiences as his Tudor near-contemporaries Taverner and Tallis, this disc demonstrates that Ludford’s music is equally worthy of attention for its intricacy, opulence and sheer inventiveness.
"An exceptional work [Ave Maria, ancilla Trinitatis] and a superb performance"