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The Essential Tallis Scholars


Release Date: 09/09/2003 
Label:  Gimell   Catalog #: 201   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gregorio AllegriTomás Luis de VictoriaJosquin Des PrézJacobus Clemens non Papa,   ... 
Performer:  Alison StampJane ArmstrongMichael ChanceJulian Walker
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 35 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

2-for-1 double set!

If I had to choose just one recording to demonstrate the radiance, richness, and sheer beauty of renaissance vocal music, this would be it.

Perhaps after nearly 25 years of recordings (and an amazing 30 years since the originators of this group gave their first concert at the Church of St Mary Magdalen, Oxford), we've come to take the Tallis Scholars and their special, uniquely identifiable ensemble sound and veracious commitment to renaissance polyphony for granted. But this release--an irresistible two-discs-for-the-price-of-one compilation--reminds us anew just how blessed we are to have enjoyed the benefits of Peter Phillips and his
Read more pioneering efforts (and they truly were pioneering back in 1973) in not only rediscovering and restoring but enlivening music from ancient centuries, and showing it to be every bit as exciting and meaningful today as it certainly was in its own time. The fact is, the Tallis Scholars--a group of 10-plus hand-picked singers drawn from Britain's rich pool of highly trained specialists--since its inception has been a leader in the early-music movement and has strongly influenced virtually every important renaissance vocal ensemble to emerge during the last couple of decades.


This ideally-chosen collection taken from the Tallis Scholars' catalog shows a representative range of repertoire and styles--from England, Spain, France, and Italy--and reflects the group's various ensemble configurations. You notice that changes in quality/color of the ensemble sound is more dictated by the character of the composition than by any differences in the group's personnel from year to year or piece to piece. In fact, these selections show how remarkably consistent the group's sound has remained, effectively adjusting to the differences in texture, register relationships and voicing, and aspects of line--from more syllabic to melismatic, and from densely textured Flemish works to more open-spaced English pieces, including the remarkable "high-treble" scoring of Sheppard and Cornysh.


It would be foolish to try to list highlights: everything here is a highlight. Yet it is important to give special mention to such masterful performances as the amazing Allegri Miserere, from the ensemble's first recording (Alison Stamp's treble solo has never been surpassed), Palestrina's Sicut lilium, three gorgeous Lassus pieces, Sheppard's Media vita, the Gloria from Brumel's Missa Et ecce terrae motus, the gentle and lovely song Ah, Robin by William Cornysh the Younger, and the stunningly brilliant Salve regina by his father. The set concludes with a performance of Byrd's five-part Mass that's as close to definitive as we can expect. In fact, that's the case with everything you hear on these CDs. No matter how experienced you are as a listener (or performer), you can't help but marvel at the exceptional standard of vocalism, musicianship, ensemble unity, and collective understanding of style and the ability to convey it in a coherent, aurally and emotionally engaging manner. Taken all together, this set represents the highest achievement in modern performance of renaissance vocal music--not to mention the demonstration-quality sound--and presents it in all of its vibrant, joyful, meditative, sensuous, and compelling glory. Full texts and translations are included in a very classy package. If I had to choose just one recording to demonstrate the radiance, richness, and sheer beauty of renaissance vocal music, this would be it. [8/16/2003]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Miserere mei Deus: Miserere mei by Gregorio Allegri
Performer:  Alison Stamp (Soprano), Jane Armstrong (Soprano), Michael Chance (Countertenor),
Julian Walker (Bass)
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Italy 
Date of Recording: 1980 
Venue:  Merton College Chapel, Oxford, England 
Length: 12 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: This selection is an AAD recording. 
2.
Ave Maria, gratia plena ŕ 8 by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1572; Italy 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3.
Praeter rerum seriem by Josquin Des Préz
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Ego flos campi by Jacobus Clemens non Papa
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Written: pub 1555 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
5.
Tota pulchra es by Heinrich Isaac
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
6.
Descendi in ortum meum by Cypriano de Rore
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
7.
Missa "Et ecce terrae motus": Gloria by Antoine Brumel
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: France 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
8.
Media vita by John Sheppard
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 21 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
9.
In manus tuas by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: after 1559; England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
10.
O nata lux de lumine by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: after 1559; England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
11.
Audivi vocem by Thomas Tallis
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
12.
Exaudiat te, Dominus by Robert White
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 9 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
13.
Ah Robyn, gentle Robyn by William Cornysh
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: English 
14.
Mass for 5 Voices by William Byrd
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: circa 1595; England 
Venue:  Merton College Chapel, Oxford, England 
Length: 22 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is sung in Latin and Greek. 
15.
Sicut lilium inter spinas (1569) by Giovanni Palestrina
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1569; Italy 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
16.
Pater peccavi by Jacobus Clemens non Papa
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1555; Netherlands (Holland 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: This work is also attributed to Thomas Crecquillon. 
17.
Alma Redemptoris mater by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Munich, Germany 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
18.
Salve regina by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
19.
Ave regina coelorum by Orlando de Lassus
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Munich, Germany 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
20.
Salve regina by William Cornysh
Conductor:  Peter Phillips
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tallis Scholars
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Venue:  Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Salle, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

Featured Sound Samples

Miserere (Allegri)
Salve regina (Lassus)

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