Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Prťalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallť
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS MDT

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505 Ė 1585)
Spem in alium [8.52]
Lamentations of Jeremiah I [7.35]
Lamentations of Jeremiah II [12.48]
Videte miraculum [10.42]
Dum transisset Sabbatum [7.50]
Honor, virtus et potestas [6.34]
Loquebantur variis linguis [5.04]
Choir of Kingís College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury
rec. July 1989, Chapel of Kingís College, Cambridge
NEWTON CLASSICS 8802002 [60.09]

Experience Classicsonline

Not only is Thomas Tallisís 40 part motet Spem in alium sui generis, but the lack of any information about its original performance history means that it stands completely alone, giving conductors a fairly free rein in re-inventing performance styles. What little we know about the first performance of the piece comes from personal recollections set down in 1610, some thirty years after. The earliest manuscript copies date from 1610 when the piece was being re-used (as Sing and Glorify) for the investiture of Prince Henry as Prince of Wales.

Sensibly, on this 1989 recording Stephen Cleobury attempts to break no new ground, but simply to capitalise on the virtues of Kingís College Chapel and its choir. The venue provides a warm, resonant acoustic, giving the piece a continuous background wash which contributes to the atmosphere of Tallisís music. After all, attempting to create a more precisely detailed account of the work would be difficult and rather pointless in such an acoustic and better left to others. Similarly, Cleobury performs the work at printed pitch, rather than raising it as some groups do. Though few choirs attempt to perform it a minor third up as the Clerkes of Oxenford do.

The performance is poised and relaxed, never feeling rushed but still succeeds in letting the piece flow along; Cleobury is not much interested in exploring the workís monumentality, instead he allows it to be as fleet as it can be without sounding confused. It is also marvellously unfussy and the music seems to unfold naturally.

I think it would have been useful to have performed it transposed up a little: Andrew Parrott moves it up a semi-tone, and Peter Phillips up a whole tone. As it is, the work sounds a little bottom-heavy, something not helped by the resonant venue. The CD liner-notes give no indication of the size of choir used, but dividing the treble line into five must have been a bit of a challenge even for a choir as proficient as Kingís. It is noticeable that, once choirs 1 and 2 have come in, the detail of the upper line sometimes gets a bit obscured.

I canít say that I have a favourite among performances of this work. I have enormous regard for the transparency of texture achieved by the Clerkes of Oxenford under David Wulfstan; their performance is magical, but few choirs could manage the high pitch. Of the more recent accounts, that of Alistair Dixon and the Chapelle du Roi has the virtue of bringing great clarity and poise to the piece, and they throw in a recording of Sing and Glorify for good measure!

The expansiveness of Spem in alium is followed by the calm restraint of the menís voices singing Tallisís two sets of Lamentations. Beautifully dark toned, well modulated and richly beautiful, this is intelligent music-making which allows the music and the acoustic to speak for themselves.

The men are rejoined by the boys for performances of Tallisís four responsories, for Candlemas, Easter, Pentecost and Trinity. Each is performed in full, with the requisite plainchant, all repeats and the Gloria. The result is a quartet of substantial pieces which speak to me greatly. The four probably date from the reign of Queen Mary and would undoubtedly have been performed by an ensemble of men and boys very similar to the Cambridge one. Here we have history and musicianship joining hands.

I would not want to be without the Chapelle du Roiís complete Tallis set. They use far fewer singers, with pure-voiced women on the top line, bringing great clarity to Tallisís music.

This is an admirable re-issue and if you donít already have a copy, go out and buy it at once.

Robert Hugill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.