Sunday, 12 January 2020

Josquin - Missa Da pacem etc - The Tallis Scholars/Phillips

Rating: 5/5


This is another wonderful entry in The Tallis Scholars’ cycle of Josquin’s masses, now nearing completion. The two masses here have had a chequered history of attribution; currently the Missa Mater patris is thought to be by Josquin and the Missa Da pacem by Bauldeweyn. Peter Phillips, in his typically scholarly and readable notes, makes a good case for at least some of Missa Da pacem to be by Josquin and includes it in this cycle on that basis. Whoever wrote it, it forms part of a lovely and very rewarding disc.

I ran out of superlatives for The Tallis Scholars many years ago, but they are all deserved here. Their trademark purity of sound, blend, fluency of line and engagement with the text are all fully in evidence and the effect is, as so often, fabulous. The overall sound is beautiful and the depth and spirituality of the music comes through so that the whole disc is a monumental pleasure. Phillips’s notes give some fascinating technical detail about the music’s structure, too, which in itself is very rewarding.

It is probably enough to say that this is well up to the stellar standard of The Tallis Scholars’ best recordings. Very warmly recommended.