The Cardinall’s Musick complete their landmark Byrd recording project

29 April 2010

The Cardinall’s Musick have finished their complete survey of the sacred Latin music of William Byrd with disc 13 - “Infelix Ego” - and it has been as well-received as the previous 12 volumes, having been selected as Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ (April ‘10), International Record Review ‘Outstanding’ (Feb ‘10) and Diapason d’Or (April ‘10).

IRR’s Marc Rochester described the disc as “a display of the best singing talent Britain can produce… truly exceptional performances ... deeply satisfying to the ear and the intellect ... an object lesson in unaccompanied part-singing, each voice perfectly in its place, the blend delightful to the ear, the lines warmly embracing each other and the overall architecture lovingly moulded by Carwood’s subtle and distinguished direction. These are very much yardstick performances”

More compliments come from Berta Joncus in BBC Music Magazine (March ‘10): “The Cardinall’s Musick pays tribute to the whole landscape of Byrd’s genius with a passion that ends the project on a high. As with the earlier instalments, Andrew Carwood’s direction and programming are equally inspired ... The musical imagination of The Cardinall’s Musick does full justice to that of Byrd. Unique about this ensemble is its expressiveness, whether members sing seamlessly as one or tug at each other’s lines. The group’s delivery is a sensual delight”.

Rebecca Tavener in Choir and Organ said of the series that she had “run out of superlatives. The intimacy of the performances combines with a devotional passion so deeply expressive that it might melt the hardest of hearts.”

Gramophone’s Editor James Inverne called the series a “journey of the very highest quality” and reviewer Fabric Fitch went on to say that “Hyperion has done Byrd proud … It’s a mixture also of the celebratory, as though the singers were congratulating themselves on a job well done - as well they might - and the penitential, concluding with the full ensemble in a finely judged and quite extrovert Infelix ego, surely one of Byrd’s most memorable motets … The commitment of singers and label alike is a cause for gratitude, perhaps even optimism. Congratulations to all concerned”

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