One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Christopher TYE (c.1505-before 15 March 1573)
Quaesumus omnipotens et misericors Deus [6:25]
Missa Euge bone 6vv [22:04]
Give almes of thy goods 4vv [1:47]
Christ rising [3:40]
Peccavimus cum patribus nostris 7vv [11:39]
Western Wynde Mass 4vv [24:39]
Nunc dimittis 4vv [3:33]
The Choir of Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell
rec. All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, 20-22 June 2011. DDD
Original texts and English translations included
HYPERION CDA67928 [73:49]

Experience Classicsonline

This new recording makes the strongest possible case for the music of Christopher Tye. A contemporary of Tallis, Tye was highly regarded during his lifetime, and, though a supporter of the Protestant Reform movement, he successfully straddled the shifting Roman Catholic/Anglican monarchies. While focusing mainly on Latin-texted music, including Tye’s best-known masses and two large motets, we also hear three simpler, yet no less beautiful, English motets. They are interspersed between and after the more complex works in Latin - an example of thoughtful programming that enables the listener more fully to grasp Tye’s differing compositional techniques.
Hyperion’s production values are, as always, first-class. The liner-notes, by conductor Jeremy Summerly, are exactly what they should be: scholarly - though not overly so, informative, interesting and succinct. Each work is put into context and special compositional features - such as Tye’s love of the “interrupted subdominant cadence” - are clearly explained. Listening after reading the notes will surely give any listener a greater appreciation of Tye’s compositional prowess.
The Choir of Westminster Abbey is in excellent form, with a particularly bold sound from the treble section. The Men and Boys Choir sound is not my favorite, despite its claim to a more truthful historical authenticity. I was enthralled, however, by the trebles’ sound in this recording. O’Donnell encourages a greater mix of chest and head voice, resulting in a tone that is warm, rich, yet refulgent. On a few occasions the trebles threatened to overwhelm the other choral parts, though I would gladly listen to singing of such fervour over the perfectly balanced, yet lifeless, performances sometimes heard in this repertoire.
The opening performance, Quaesumus omnipotens et misericors Deus, displays the many hallmarks that are heard throughout this CD. Tye’s love of imitative writing is readily apparent, as is his desire to express the text. The music is a kaleidoscope of ever-changing voicing and textures. O’Donnell ensures that all of it is executed with clarity and precision. Moreover, he is sensitive to how the music expresses the textual sentiment. For example, the supplications that close Quaesumus - a Latin text adapted from a prayer by King Henry VII - become increasingly impassioned, climaxing in the final bars as the choir sings that Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life. Amen.” The motet’s text achieves its culmination in this passage, and this is superbly realized in O’Donnell’s performance.
The Missa Euge bone offers many similar moments. In the Gloria, there is a moment, just before it ends, where the polyphony stops and Tye sets the name “Jesus Christe” in block chords. The choir sings these chords with breathtaking beauty. Likewise at the opening of the Sanctus, where six slow-moving chords are surely meant to convey a sense of awe and wonder, fully realized here. The Agnus Dei has an unusual structure, with four petitions instead of the normal three. Each petition is scored and set differently, making the pleas for mercy and peace increasingly ardent. It is brilliant writing - small wonder that scholars believe this was the work Tye submitted for his Doctorate from Cambridge - passionately sung.
Hearing Tye’s setting of Give alms of thy goods, after the Mass is a stark contrast, but one which readily reveals his ability to profound music with a simpler technique. The rousing performance of Christ rising, is followed by Peccavimus cum patribus nostris, with a particularly impressive account of its climax at “Pour into our hearts thy most holy love.” O’Donnell’s Missa Western Wynde is also masterly, as is his reading of Nunc dimittis (sung in English) that serves as a peaceful benediction to this programme.
There is little competition for the main works on this album. A recording of the Missa Euge bone and Peccavimus motet by Jeremy Summerly and the Oxford Camerata features consistently slower tempos in a less vocally accommodating acoustic. This new one makes Summerly’s seem somewhat cautious and emotionally reticent. The only other recording of the Missa Western Wynde is by The Tallis Scholars, who are, as always, beautiful. I admire both, and can only explain the difference by saying that The Tallis Scholars’ seem “concert”-oriented, whereas the Westminster Abbey version appears truly connected to a liturgical tradition, and therefore touches me more deeply. This is exhilarating music that receives excellent advocacy from choir, conductor, and label alike.

David A. McConnell

see review by Brian Wilson

















































































































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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.