Stunning reviews for The Cardinall’s Musick’s latest recording

14 February 2013

Following on from the huge success of their multi-Award-winning complete series of William Byrd’s Latin music for Hyperion, The Cardinall’s Musick’s latest recording of Byrd’s epic Great Service is proving to be a big hit with the critics as well.

Fiona Maddocks, writing for The Observer, says “The 10 voices of the Cardinall’s Musick launch into the opening of Byrd’s The Great Service – ‘O come, let us sing unto the Lord’ – with a soaring joyfulness and clarity that sustains throughout this large-scale and elaborate work. Andrew Carwood and his group have won countless accolades for their series of Byrd’s Latin sacred music. In this Anglican work, they achieve the same outstanding level of musicianship. The (female) sopranos have strength and purity at the top but an effective lightness, too, closer to the sound of boy trebles. The full ensemble tone is bold and energetic.”

Robert Levett in International Record Review says: “this new recording is something special. Whether it’s because of the sheer experience of having sung so much Byrd’s music as to have assimilated his musical language utterly, or whether it’s simply the raw musicianship and cultivated intelligence of the performers, there’s a clarity and intensity in each verse that is spine-tingling. In his excellent booklet notes, Carwood rightly mentions a moment in the ‘Magnificat’ where Byrd scatters the proud ‘not only “in the imagination of their hearts” but audibly in the music.’ Here, as elsewhere, the latent energy of the words as made manifest in Byrd’s setting is realized with the kind of skill and conviction that moves rather than simply amazes. Which is, I guess, the point of religious music.”

Anna Picard, in BBC Music Magazine, comments that “The singing is neat, clear and fluid, with beautiful elastic phrasing from the two tenors. The Nunc Dimittis provides the sweetest moments in the Great Service itself…”

Richard Lawrence in Gramophone concludes that “...the performances overall are excellent and the disc is a fine continuation of the group’s Byrd Edition”.

For more information about the recording, and to hear some sound clips please visit the Hyperion Records website by clicking here.

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