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The Tallis Scholars: Silver, 25th Anniversary

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 15, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Miserere
  2. Ave Maria For Double Choir - Victoria
  3. Sicut Lilium I - Palestrina
  4. Praeter rerum seriem - Josquin
  5. Pater peccavi - Clemens
  6. Ego flos campi - Clemens
  7. Tota pulchra es
  8. Descendi in hortum meum
  9. Alma Redemptoris Mater - Lassus
  10. Salve Regina - Lassus
  11. Ave Regina caelorum - Lassus
  12. Missa Et ecce terrae motus: Gloria

Disc: 2

  1. Media vita
  2. In manus tuas
  3. O nata lux
  4. Audivi vocem
  5. Exaudiat te
  6. Ah, Robin
  7. Salve Regina
  8. Mass For 5 Voices
  9. Mass For 5 Voices
  10. Mass For 5 Voices
  11. Mass For 5 Voices
  12. Mass For 5 Voices

Product Details

  • Performer: Tallis Scholars
  • Conductor: Peter Philips
  • Audio CD (September 15, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Polygram / Gimell
  • ASIN: B00000AFRI
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,338 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

This collection of Renaissance sacred choral music is just wonderful. The fine voices are enhanced by the acoustics in the Merton College Chapel, Oxford. The 2 CD set plays over 2 1/2 hours of Latin polyphony, from the Allegri "Miserere" to beautiful selections by Clemens, Lassus, Tallis, Byrd and others. It is a rare kind of music, both inspiring and calming. The 15 year old and the 50 year old in the family each own a copy.
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For me, the Tallis Scholars are probably the finest early music choir in England today. Though the reason for the release of this double CD - their 25th anniversary - has long since passed, it is still worth having in any early music collection, especially if you have never purchased a Tallis Scholars record before.
With so much material to their credit, recorded over many years, Peter Phillips must have had quite a few headaches over which tracks to include. He has opted to present two programmes: disc one opens with the award-winning 1980 recording of the Allegri "Miserere" and goes on to explore Palestrina and masters of Franco-Flemish polyphony, including Josquin and Brunel. Disc two features Renaissance music from England, including works by William Cornysh, John Sheppard, and of course Thomas Tallis. It ends with a stunning rendition of William Byrd's "Mass for Five Voices." Needlessly to say, there are many other gems from the choir's discography that do not appear: "Spem in alium," "Nine Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter," the Sarum "Missa in gallicantu," John Tavener's "Ikon of Light" or any of the Russian motet recordings made in collaboration with him. Nonetheless, the collection is still superb, reflecting the choir's diversity and Peter Phillip's inspired direction.
There are just too many items on this disc to review in their entirety, and in a way it is impossible to single out any particular 'highlight,' although I have to say that items I constantly find myself listening to are the twelve-part Brunel "Gloria" and the Palestrina "Sicut lilium" from disc one, and the Tallis "O Nata Lux," and Cornysh "Ah, Robin! Gentle Robin" from disc two.
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This CD is the definitive Tallis Scholars sampler if one is interested in hearing a varied cross-section of their superb repertoire. The major difference between this collection and the Best of the Renaissance CD is the fact that this CD includes works from no less than 14 composers, and still includes a whole Mass (Byrd's Mass for Five Voices)!
Starting with the opening piece of CD 1, Allegri's Miserere, the other pieces will open to the listener the world of continental Renaissance polyphony - Josquin's Praeter rerum seriem is marvelous, Clemens non Papa weighs in with 2 wondrous pieces, and Brumel's Gloria might rearrange some brain cells if not digested with care - 12 voices!
The second CD is even better (but I am partial to the English school), and Sheppard's Media vita is a masterpiece - it alone makes this collection worth the money! Hearing a fairly rare work from Robert White is also of interest, and the short love song Ah, Robin by Cornysh the Younger is very moving indeed!
If you're unfamiliar with the Tallis Scholars Renaissance music, please listen to this CD. If you're already hooked, please listen to this CD again - the arrangement of the pieces make it a pleasure, even if you know most of these works!
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