The Cardinall’s Musick’s latest Tallis CD - “singing of the highest standard”

16 May 2016

The Cardinall’s Musick’s latest disc in their complete survey of the music of Thomas Tallis on Hyperion records has just been released (click here for a little taster), and already the recording has impressed the critics.

Writing in the Observer, Fiona Maddocks gives the recording 5 stars and says “Ten English composers set the Latin text of the Lamentations of Jeremiah in the mid-16th century, in the reigns both of the Catholic Queen Mary and the Protestant Elizabeth I. Precise details are hard to establish of when works were performed, as Andrew Carwood explains in an illuminating note to this disc, but there seems little doubt that Tallis, though a Catholic, wrote his masterpiece for Elizabeth. The repeated final lines, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, turn to the Lord your God”, unforgettable once heard, have a dark resonance here, thanks to the sonorous basses of the Cardinall’s Musick (Robert Macdonald, Simon Whiteley). The rest of this fine recording draws on music from across Tallis’s career, with English and Latin settings (Sancte Deus, Te Deum, Come, Holy Ghost and more). The singers reach the highest standards.”

Berta Joncus, for BBC Music Magazine, says “Where Tallis’s polyphony is most complex, The Cardinall’s Musick is most commanding. The all-male performance of the Lamentations, pitched lower than in other readings, gives it a unique plushness… By approaching Tallis with authority, the singers of The Cardinall’s Musick illuminate his complex masterpieces”

In Gramophone, Fabrice Fitch says “This final volume of Tallis from The Cardinall’s Musick continues the fine form of its predecessors. Their interpretation of the English-texted works shows how effective these contrapuntally unassuming settings can be when sung with conviction… The disc’s main attraction, however, is the famous pair of Lamentations, which boasts a substantial discography. Carwood opts for a couple of (male) voices to a part, and for those who find single voices offer an insufficiently monumental sonority, these readings may well top the list of possible alternatives…. a splendid series, the most comprehensive survey of Tallis since the Chapelle du Roi’s (Signum) and consistently the more accomplished.”

For Early Music Review Clifford Bartlett said “This is an ideal recording: do buy it.” and D. James Ross said “The Cardinall’s Musick’s superb Tallis Edition for Hyperion has reached the Lamentations, and this CD opens with a magisterial account of this beguiling music… the singers found a magnificently measured line through Tallis’s score, investing the text with a moving power and drama… terrifically muscular performances… magnificently sonorous singing.”

More information about the recording can be found here on the Hyperion records website.

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