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A Choral Pilgrimage: The Glories of Tudor Church Music

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Audio CD, May 16, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

The "Bach Cantata Pilgrimage," John Eliot Gardiner's enormous (if musically underwhelming) juggernaut, isn't the only peripatetic choral celebration occurring during the year 2000. Harry Christophers and the Sixteen are undertaking a major tour of England's great cathedrals, performing a sampling of the music written to be performed in them before the Reformation in the 16th century. This disc, compiled from earlier releases by the Sixteen (many no longer available), is meant in part to commemorate this "pilgrimage." Its subtitle is no exaggeration. Among the "glories of Tudor church music" on offer: the propulsive exuberance of "O splendor gloriae" by John Taverner (the Renaissance composer, not his modern-day near-namesake); the deeply penitent melancholy of William Mundy's "Adolesecentulus sum ego"; and the radiant sweetness of the Gloria from Thomas Tallis's Puer natus est Mass. Best of all are two works by lesser-known masters of the Tudor era: John Browne (active ca. 1500), whose Salve Regina is full of soaring treble lines and intricate, surprising rhythms; and John Sheppard, whose tightly woven imitation and sometimes shocking dissonances are a particular favorite of singers. Christophers transposes the music up (usually a whole step); some listeners may find the bright, high-lying soprano sound a bit wearing. Yet all his singers dispatch every difficulty set before them with skill and professionalism, and (more than in some other repertory they've recorded) their affection for this music is obvious. A very worthwhile release, especially for newcomers to this repertory. --Matthew Westphal

1. William Byrd: Iustorum Animae
2. Byrd: Ad Dominum Cum Tribularer
3. John Sheppard: In Manus Tuas (Third Setting)
4. John Taverner: O Splendor Gloriae
5. William Mundy: Adolescentulus Sum Ego
6. Thomas Tallis: Missa Puer Natus: Gloria
7. John Browne: Salve Regina
8. Sheppard: Libera Nos (First Setting)

Product Details

  • Orchestra: The Sixteen
  • Conductor: Harry Christophers
  • Composer: Various
  • Audio CD (May 16, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Linn Records
  • ASIN: B00004RIWB
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Russell Kim on July 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
When it comes to choral music, i love clean and well tuned voices, thick, solid, clean, and well sung. All the music in the cd inspires the cathedral and pure choral music that is at its best form. You just have to listen to this music. If you love choral music and if you love excellent vocal A'Capella music, this cd is a must.
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