William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Dunedin Consort - In Chains Of Gold

Published Tuesday 11th May 2004
William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Dunedin Consort - In Chains Of Gold
William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Dunedin Consort - In Chains Of Gold

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9853-
LABEL: Delphian DCD34008
FORMAT: CD Album

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

The obscure-sounding title to this collection comes from Sir Thomas Morley who, in 1597, made the point that good music can "draw the hearer, as it were, in chains of gold by the ears to the consideration of holy things." Tallis and Byrd, contemporaries of Morley, were Catholics who managed to retain their allegiance to Rome while working for the new Church of England. Byrd is the dominant partner in the selection on offer here: his "Mass Five"' takes up half the time. Given a less than generous total playing time of 51 minutes surely another item or two by Tallis could have been included. The Dunedin Consort is a dynamic vocal ensemble based in Edinburgh but calling upon singers from all over the UK as needed. The five singers on this disc are Susan Hamilton (soprano), Clare Wilkinson (mezzo), Ashley Turnell and Warren Trevelyan-Jones (tenors) and Matthew Brook (bass). The blend of voices is excellent and praise should go to engineer Paul Baxter who has really caught the voices. Neither should we forget John Kitchen on the organ who shows admirable restraint throughout and allows the voices to take centre stage.

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