Saturday, 14 April 2018

Tallis - Ave rosa sine spinis - The Cardinall's Musick/Carwood

Rating: 4/5

Good, but not a favourite

I love The Cardinall's Musick and their series of Byrd, Fayfax and Ludford are among my favourite discs.  For some reason, their Tallis recordings (with the exception of the marvellous Lamentations) don't have the same thrilling effect on me.

This disc is part of their eventual Complete Tallis, so it's a very mixed programme of both Latin and English settings from the well known to small obscurities.  I like this approach and it's good to have such a variety easily available.  The singing is, of course, technically excellent and their sound is as lovely as ever.  Somehow, though, the depth and spirituality isn't as strong for me as it often is in Cardinall's Musick recordings and as a result these aren't among my favourite versions.  In the Mass For Four Voices, for example, I much prefer the haunting plangency of The Hilliard Ensemble or the fuller but still quite spare recording by Magnificat.

This is entirely personal preference, of course.  It is a superbly sung and recorded disc which I'm sure many people will love.  I like it, but I can't give it an unqualified recommendation.

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