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Tudor Church Music Vol 1 / Phillips, Tallis Scholars


Release Date: 11/11/2008 
Label:  Gimell   Catalog #: 209   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  John BrowneWilliam CornyshJohn TavernerChristopher Tye
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 33 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"There is such a wealth of beautiful music here, excellently performed and recorded. It comes on four very well-filled CDs offered as 2-for-1 packages. I scarcely know where to begin, except to recommend both sets in the strongest possible terms and to make them my joint Bargain of the Month. See Volume 2 Tudor Church Music Vol 2 / Phillips, Tallis Scholars

The first CD of Volume 1 contains the complete contents of the John Browne recording (CDGIM036), already a generous 71 minutes long, and adds the Cornysh Gaude virgo. I recently compared that Gimell recording with the versions sung by The Sixteen and Harry Christophers, the latter
Read more spread across three of the five Coro recordings of the music from The Eton Choirbook, available separately or as a 5-for-3 offer (COR16040). The new format of the Gimell recordings makes for even better value than Coro’s 5-CD set.

Rather than repeat the detailed comparison which I made between the two interpretations of John Browne...I'll merely remind you that I consider John Browne to be arguably the greatest English composer before Tallis, that I marginally preferred the Tallis versions of this music to those of The Sixteen, and that my Musicweb colleague JF was just as enthusiastic about these performances as I am, writing: "Near perfect music from the late fifteenth century sung in glorious style. A most moving and satisfying disc." With the addition of the Cornysh work, this first CD is worth the cost of the whole volume on its own.

Cornysh reappears on CD2 with two more pieces from CDGIM014. The only possible reason that anyone might have for complaint is that these three pieces will make you want to buy the parent CD, which also contains three setting of English words, including the marvellous Woefully arrayed. This second CD of Volume 1 is rounded off by two Mass settings, by John Taverner and Christopher Tye, both based on the secular tune Western Wynde.

In recommending the first-rate version of the Taverner on Hyperion’s low-price Helios label (CDH55056, The Sixteen/Harry Christophers, Bargain of the Month – ) I also recommended the Tallis Scholar’s recordings of three Tudor masses based on the Western Wynde theme (CDGIM027) as "a well-filled CD with excellent performances and recording." Now the contents of that disc are offered in a form which makes them commensurate value-wise with the Helios. In fact, both Gimell and Hyperion versions are now offered so inexpensively that you could buy both without too great an outlay, thereby obtaining some other excellent works by Taverner – and don’t forget the other Taverner Mass recordings on Helios CDH55051, 55052, 55053, 55054 and 55055.

The Gimell timings for the Taverner Mass are slightly slower than those on Hyperion: as usual, where the Tallis Scholars savour the more reflective aspects of the music, The Sixteen stress its sheer excitement – which is not to say that either group misses any important aspects of what the other stresses. The only possible reasons for not buying Volume 1 of these new Gimell sets would be the intention to spend the money on the complete Helios CDs or a desire to obtain Gimell’s own all-Taverner coupling of the Western Wynde Mass with the Gloria tibi Trinitas Mass and Kyrie Leroi (CDGIM004).

Even if, like me, you already own that all-Taverner disc, you should still buy Volume 1 for the sake of the Tye Western Wynde Mass, unless you believe that Tye’s connection with Ely Cathedral makes it essential to have the present-day successors of his choristers sing his music (ASV CDGAU190 – not currently available). If the Western Wynde Mass makes you want to look for other music by Tye, you could do much worse than the Oxford Camerata in the Euge bone Mass (Naxos 8.550937).

Everything about these new Gimell reissues is high quality – performances, recordings, notes and presentation. The multi-lingual notes are excellent, if rather brief – to have amplified them would have made the booklets too fat; they’re already hard to get back in the case. The Holbein illustrations on the covers, labels and inserts set the seal on the enterprise.

Anyone who buys Gimell’s 2-CD sets will have acquired a very sound base on which to build a library of this wonderful music."

-- Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Salve regina by John Browne
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1490; England 
2.
Stabat iuxta Christi crucem by John Browne
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
3.
Stabat mater by John Browne
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1490; England 
4.
O regina mundi clara by John Browne
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
5.
O Maria Salvatoris mater by John Browne
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 15th Century; England 
6.
Gaude virgo, mater Christi by William Cornysh
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
7.
Missa "Western Wynde" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
8.
Salve regina by William Cornysh
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
9.
Ave Maria, mater Dei by William Cornysh
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
10.
Mass "Western Wind" by Christopher Tye
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 

Featured Sound Samples

O Maria salvatoris mater (Browne)
Missa "Western Wynde" (Taverner): Sanctus

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