WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Golden Age Of English Polyphony / Harry Christophers, The Sixteen


Release Date: 11/10/2009 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 44401   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert FayrfaxJean TavernerJohn TavernerJohn Sheppard,   ... 
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Number of Discs: 10 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  
On sale! $79.98
CD:  $68.99
Low Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

Unmissable and a worthy tribute to one of the glories of the English choral tradition.

My colleague Brian Wilson has already extensively reviewed this splendid compilation and it rightly features as November 2009 “Bargain of the Month”. This ten disc set has been compiled from The Sixteen’s extensive catalogue of recordings made during the ten years between September 1982 and December 1992. Thus, they are by no means new interpretations. Many collectors might already have most if not all of them on their shelves, but if you don’t have them all, purchasing this handsomely re-packaged set might be an attractive, space-saving option – as long as you don’t mind losing the
Read more original artwork. Even so there are full and informative notes by Stephen Rice and complete texts are provided, and the box is tastefully presented in white, gold, sepia and black. The CDs are in individual slipcases, as is now the wont of record companies. Never mind the “Golden Age of English Polyphony”; this is now the “Golden Age of Bargain Re-Issues”.
 
The Sixteen are rivalled only by the Tallis Scholars in purity and homogeneity of tone; the last time I heard them live in St John’s Chapel, Cambridge, constituted one of my most memorable musical experiences. I have read some sour criticism of their “over-use of vibrato” and the over-bearing stridency of their star sopranos in the “mean” line. Nothing I hear in these recordings corroborates those complaints, although the Tallis Scholars tend to adopt a somewhat more leisurely, reflective approach to tempi and phrasing and rather more restraint in their inflection of the line. I like both; surely there is room for more than one interpretative stance in this sublime music?
 
Mention of the Tallis Scholars brings me to my one and only gripe. It might be significant for a newcomer to the English Renaissance polyphonic repertoire. As Brian Wilson has already noted in his review, “There are some gaps in the glorious English music of the 16 th century which these ten CDs don’t fill, notably of Tallis and Byrd.” This matters; it is inconceivable that anyone could imagine that a representative sample of the music of this period could exclude those two great composers. A case might be made for the exclusion of Tomkins (1572-1656) and Gibbons (1583-1625) on the grounds that the bulk of their output was produced later than the period covered by this set, but Tallis (1505-1585), in particular, as the ne plus ultra of the bunch, should surely have been represented. Byrd (c.1543-1623) is equally deserving of a look-in. Even though the Tallis Scholars’ eponymous recorded output dominates the catalogue, The Sixteen have given us some wonderful accounts both of Tallis’s major works and Byrd’s Masses and motets. Unfortunately hardly any of these has been on the Hyperion label. If you would like to hear more of The Sixteen in the composers missing from this set, I urge you to acquire their “Spem in alium: Music for Monarchs and Magnates” on Coro, “Tallis: Sacred Choral Works” on Chandos and the Byrd “Masses for 4 and 5 Voices” on Virgin Veritas.
 
I shall not attempt a more detailed critique of the music and performances here as it is rendered superfluous by Mr Wilson’s excellent review and I would steer you towards that for more information. Otherwise, this is an unmissable box and a worthy tribute to one of the glories of the English choral tradition – a tribute to both the performance and the music itself.  

-- Ralph Moore, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Aeternae laudis lillum by Robert Fayrfax
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
2. Missa "Albanus" by Robert Fayrfax
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
3. Archangeli Michaelis interventione by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
4. Kyrie "Leroy" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
5. Missa "O Michaell" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
6. Dum transisset Sabbatum I by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
7. Gaude plurimum by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
8. Ex eius tumba by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
9. Missa "Corona Spinea" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
10. In pace in idipsum by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
11. O splendor gloriae by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
12. Te Deum laudamus by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
13. Alleluia, Veni electa mea by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
14. Missa "Gloria tibi Trinitas" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
15. In Nomine à 4 by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
16. Audivi vocem de coelo by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
17. Dum transisset Sabbatum II by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
18. Hodie nobis caelorum Rex by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
19. Mater Christi sanctissima by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1540; England 
20. Nesciens mater by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
21. Quemadmodum by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
22. Missa "Mater Christi" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
23. Missa "Western Wynde" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
24. O Wilhelme, pastor bone by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
25. Missa "Sancti Wilhelmi" by John Taverner
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
26. Cantate Mass by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1553-1558; England 
27. Salvator mundi Domine by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
28. Verbum caro factum est by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
29. Laudem dicite Deo nostro by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
30. Reges Tharsis et insulae by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
31. In manus tuas Domine no 1 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
32. Filiae Jerusalem venite by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
33. In pace in idipsum by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
34. Paschal Kyrie by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
35. Jesu salvator saeculi, verbum by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
36. Mass "Western Wynde" by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
37. Second Service: Magnificat by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
38. Second Service: Nunc dimittis by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
39. Te Deum, laudamus by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
40. Spiritus sanctus procedens a 5 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
41. Justi in perpetuum vivent by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
42. Libera nos, salva nos no 1 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
43. Libera nos, salva nos no 2 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
44. Audivi vocem de coelo by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
45. Deus tuorum militum I by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
46. Ave maris stella by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
47. Jesu salvator saeculi, redemptis by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
48. Spiritus sanctus procedens a 6 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
49. Beata nobis gaudia by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
50. In manus tuas Domine no 2 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
51. Gaude gaude gaude Maria virgo by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
52. Haec dies quam fecit Dominus by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
53. Impetum fecerunt unanimes by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
54. Dum transisset Sabbatum no 1 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
55. Sancte Dei preciose by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
56. Sacris solemniis iuncta sit gaudia by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
57. Hostis Herodes impie by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
58. Dum transisset Sabbatum no 2 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
59. In manus tuas Domine no 3 by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
60. Aeterne Rex altissime by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
61. O Lord, the maker of all things by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
62. Videte miraculum by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
63. Sive vigilem by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
64. Ah, helpless wretch by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
65. Vox patris caelestis by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
66. Kyrie by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
67. O Lord, the world's saviour by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
68. Evening Service "In medio chori" by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
69. The secret sins by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
70. Beatus et sanctus by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
71. Adolescentulus sum ego by William Mundy
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 

Featured Sound Samples

O splendor gloriae (Taverner)
Filiae Jerusalem venite (Sheppard)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook