A chance discovery of a manuscript fragment here, or a hidden accounts record there, is usually all it takes to multiply the sum of knowledge about one of England’s greatest composers. Thomas Tallis is a biographer’s challenge and a musicological detective’s delight.  

Thomas Tallis

Thomas Tallis is a challenge and a musicological detective’s delight.

His life story, like those of so many musicians of his time, can be sketched in a handful of paragraphs. Beyond that stands the man’s work, its monumental stature towering over the known and speculative highlights of his scant biography. Tallis’s world extended from Dover and the nearby...