Sunday, 1 April 2018

Tallis - Lamentations - The Cardinall's Musick/Carwood

Rating: 5/5

A very fine Lamentations

I think this is a wonderful recording of Tallis's Lamentations.  I have several versions and this is among my very favourites.

Andrew Carwood has used male voices only for the Lamentations, allowing him to pitch it quite low – a minor third below The Tallis Scholars' version, for example.  This gives the whole thing a fabulous depth and resonance of sound which I find quite thrilling throughout.  The basses descend to positively Russian depths in "Ierusalem, Ierusalem" in the first set, for example, which I find spine-tingling every time.  It's a matter of taste, of course, and there is some loss of clarity, but as a performance it's full of yearning lament and I find it deeply moving. 

The other works on the disc are a varied selection.  This is a part of what will eventually become a cycle of Tallis's Complete Works, so included here are some quite obscure liturgical settings in both English and Latin, along with fine performances of Sancte Deus, Dum transisset Sabbatum and other better-known works.  It's an interesting and enjoyable programme, but there is no doubt that for me the Lamentations is the real point of this disc.

The notes and presentation are very good and Hyperion's recorded sound is of the excellent standard we have come to expect.  It's a terrific release all round and very warmly recommended.

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