Queen Mary's Big Belly

Signum: SIGCD464

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Queen Mary's Big Belly



Catalogue No:




Release date:

3rd Feb 2017




77 minutes


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Queen Mary's Big Belly

Hope for an heir in Catholic England


New Ballad of the Marigold - The God above, for man's delight

Sarum litany: Kyrie


Te spectant, Reginalde, Poli

Mundy, W:

Exsurge Christe

Newman, Anthony:


Sheppard, J:

Christi virgo dilectissima

Deus miseratur nostri

Vaine, all our lyfe we spend in vaine

Martyr Dei qui unicum

Libera nos 1

Vaine, all our lyfe we spend in vaine (II)


Like as the doleful dove

O sacrum convivium

Quod chorus vatum

When shall my sorrowful sighing slake, partsong for 4 voices

Loquebantur variis linguis


Peccavimus cum patribus nostris

Wilder, P:

Pater noster

Gallicantus, Gabriel Crouch


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Read our exclusive interview with Gabriel Crouch about the project here.

Gallicantus perform music surrounding the fascinating yet tragic story of Queen Mary Tudor’s ‘phantom pregnancy’. On 30th April 1555 the city of London celebrated the birth of a healthy male heir, but abruptly ceased the next day after the news was revealed to be nothing but rumour. There was to be no heir, with gossip and speculation surrounding the tale of Mary’s pregnancy from that day onwards.

The music performed here resonates with the circumstances of the mid-1550s, including items composed outside of Mary’s reign; from the royal ceremonies in which Mary participated as queen, and music directly tied to the specific events of 1554-5. This includes a newly-reconstructed Litany which was performed during Mary’s assumed pregnancy.

The viewpoint shifts from the streets of London and its suburbs, through the ceremonial grandeur of the royal palaces and their chapels, to the intimacy of the Privy Chamber itself.

Philip van Wilder: Pater noster

Pater noster

William Mundy: Exsurge Christe

Exsurge Christe

Christopher Tye: Peccavimus cum patribus

Peccavimus cum patribus

Orlando di Lasso: Te spectant, Reginalde, poli

Te spectant, Reginalde, poli

Thomas Tallis: Like as the Doleful Dove

Like as the Doleful Dove

Anonymous: New Ballad of the Marigold

New Ballad of the Marigold

Anthony Newman: Fansye


Anonymous: Sarum Litany

Sarum Litany

Thomas Tallis: O sacrum convivium

O sacrum convivium

Thomas Tallis: Quod chorus vatum

Quod chorus vatum

John Sheppard: Christi virgo dilectissima

Christi virgo dilectissima

John Sheppard: Deus misereatur

Deus misereatur

Thomas Tallis: When Shall My Sorrowful Sighing Slack

When Shall My Sorrowful Sighing Slack

John Sheppard: Vain, All Our Life I

Vain, All Our Life I

John Sheppard: Martyr Dei qui unicum

Martyr Dei qui unicum

Thomas Tallis: Loquebantur variis linguis

Loquebantur variis linguis

John Sheppard: Libera nos, salva nos

Libera nos, salva nos

John Sheppard: Vain, All Our Life II

Vain, All Our Life II

Record Review

18th February 2017

“An intriguing idea… radiantly sung, a story told with relish and great historical context musically and in the extensive notes”

MusicWeb International

“a very well-curated collection of music. You may or may not be convinced by the concept, but you'll certainly enjoy the music, because it is performed beautifully, and there are lots of fresh discoveries on offer.”

Early Music Today

May 2017


“The singers nurse the lines with the greatest care, distinguishing the sections with subtle colours… Brilliant both musicologically and artistically.”

BBC Music Magazine

July 2017


“The performances are uniformly excellent…the Litany in particular is beautifully sung, and is one of many moments which make this imaginative, informatively annotated programme worth investigating”

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