Anthony Rooley has explored a world of delectable rarities on the Musica
Oscura label. Here, for ASV, his group of leading madrigalists has a collection
of masterly pieces by Thomas Weelkes, one of the finest composers of the
late 16th century, who died prematurely in 1623. His Madrigals of Five &
Six Parts (1600) have been considered the highest point of the English Madrigal
repertory, and are well represented here. After 1608 he devoted himself to
church music, and this selection includes several dramatic anthems, with
fluent polyphony and expressive chromaticism. Seven anthems are presented,
with twelve of the secular madrigals.
This vocal music has a high place in one of England's most fertile periods
and is a wholly recommendable programme, despatched with the artistry and
care for detail associated with these singers. Full notes and words supplied.
Peter Grahame Woolf