One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano"
IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra

Sinfonie Concertanti for two flutes and orchestra

TUDOR RECORDS

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review




an inspirational performance


An indispensable acquisition


The finest we have had in years


bewitching sound


Simply amazing


A splendid addition


One of the most enjoyable


quite superb!


utterly essential


A wonderful introduction


An outstanding CD


cheer-raising


One of the finest versions


Support us financially by purchasing this from

JOSQUIN des Prés (c. 1440-1521)
Plainchant – Gaudeamus omnes [1:13]
Missa Gaudeamus [35:57]
Missa L’ami Baudichon [29:37]
The Tallis Scholars / Peter Phillips
rec. The Chapel of Merton College, Oxford
Latin texts and English, French & German translations included
GIMELL CDGIM050 [66:48]

This album continues The Tallis Scholars’ acclaimed series of Josquin des Prés masses on the Gimell label. Fourteen masses have been released. I was surprised that it has been as long as a couple of years since the last volume. It seems there are two more albums to come before the projected series is complete.

Renaissance composer Josquin des Prés, the most famous European composer between Guillaume, Dufay and Palestrina, is usually considered to be the pivotal figure of the Franco-Flemish School. He is regarded by early music specialists to be the leader of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music. Sadly, reliable information on this great composer is largely absent, lost in the midst of time. No less a figure than Martin Luther described Josquin as “master of the notes”.

Peter Phillips remarks on the contrasting sound worlds of the two masses recorded here. Missa Gaudeamus is “intensely worked” while Missa L’ami Baudichon is “joyful, bright and easy-going”. Written in the early or mid-1480s, the centre of Josquin’s composing career, Missa Gaudeamus is a setting of the Ordinary of the Mass. Published in 1502, this mass for four voices is based on the Gregorian introit Gaudeamus Omnes. My highlight is the short Agnus Dei II (track 17), an exquisite yet complex canonic duet; the singing conveys a near-mystical quality.

An early work, Missa L’ami Baudichon is thought to have been written circa 1475, and is one of one of Josquin’s less frequently encountered masses. Et resurrexit (track 28), the final part of the Credo, is memorable. It is sung with appealing luminosity.

Specialists in Renaissance sacred music, The Tallis Scholars were founded by Peter Phillips in 1973 as an ensemble who use women for the top lines rather than boys or men. That results here in a remarkable balance. With real assurance, Phillips draws from the Scholars singing of unerring sincerity that is based in the very essence of the Latin text. The unwavering unity of the ensemble is its key attribute, and so is stylish delivery of phrasing and nuances. The Scholars achieve a beautifully balanced and attractive tonal palette of sound.

The disc was recorded at The Chapel of Merton College, Oxford. The sound quality is first-class, clear and well balanced. For some reason the booklet does not give the date of the recording. As we have come to expect from this series, the essay written by Peter Phillips is of an elevated standard. I am grateful for the provision of complete sung Latin texts with translations in English.

Michael Cookson
 
Previous review: John Quinn

 




Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger