A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 10/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A COMPILATION AND A MIXTURE OF SONGS AND PERSONNEL
Director Peter Phillips states in the accompanying information that April 1982 was the first and only time that the Tallis Scholars have ever recorded such repertoire as is on this disc. Thus the issuing of this CD will also mark the first time these tracks have been commercially available for over twenty years.
The twelve madrigals presented here were deliberately chosen to show off the scope of the best English madrigal-writing around the year 1600. The closest the Scholars normally come to singing madrigals in concert is in the anthems of the early Stuart composers: Tomkins, Weelkes and Gibbons, in particular. The Anglican music of Tomkins became known as 'secular anthems' and are included on the last half of this CD as a bonus addition.
The first half of the disc includes twelve madrigals sung by various members of the Scholars(personnel changes from year to year), but include such well-known and skilled singers as : Michael Chance, Allison Gough, Andrew King and Francis Steele etc.. Chance , for example sings in only two of the madrigals (unfortunately); another female singer unknown to me sings the remaining numbers. I think the quality of performance changes a great deal in the first half of the disc because of the frequent changes in personnel,
The last half of the disc, which are the 'secular' anthems, appeals to me much more, partly because it was only one group performing, and they were excellent, and this half was recorded in 1988, whereas the first part was recorded from the late 70's to 1982.
The album is unique and entertaining and mostly well implemented. The Tallis Scholars could not sing poorly even if they tried!!!!!"