Silver - The Tallis Scholars 25th Anniversary is a 2-disc set with 24 songs.
This two-discs-for-the-price-of-one compilation gives a fine overview of the Tallis Scholars' impressive recording career. It opens with the group's signature piece, Gregorio Allegri's Miserere (featuring the remarkably strong and pure high Cs of Deborah Roberts), and continues with a cappella works by well-known Renaissance composers such as Josquin, Palestrina, and Victoria, as well as pieces by lesser-known composers--such as Clemens non Papa, Robert White, and William Cornysh--whose reputation the group played an important part in reviving. Phillips has chosen a particularly beautiful group of pieces, all performed with the reliably immaculate tuning and lovely tone that have made this choir world-famous. Longtime collectors of Tallis Scholars discs probably have most of the works included here already, but for those unfamiliar with the group--or with Renaissance sacred music in general--this 25th-anniversary album is an ideal introduction. --Matthew Westphal