Choir Of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford - Tudor Anthems

Sunday 1st July 1990
Choir Of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford - Tudor Anthems

STYLE: Choral
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Gamut

Reviewed by Dave Massey

If you want a taste of what mid-16th to early 17th century choral music was all about then this recording is for you. The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral is ably directed by Simon Preston. The music is from a period when great English composers where two-a-penny - come to think of it the average muso's wage must have been about that! But I digress. On this album are choral works by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tallis and Thomas Weelkes - the cream of their generation. The pieces were composed mainly for church (festivals, special services) and for performance in the odd stately home and the setting of Christ Church with its magnificent reverb is just right. There are some rough edges though, provided by the young choristers, and the overall balance of voices is not quite right but, taken as a whole, this is a good compilation. Modern ears tire quickly of early music due to its simplicity of both harmony and metre and I feel there's not enough variety here to offset this. The two versions of -When David Heard" (How David wept over the death of Absalom; 2 Samuel 1833) provide the highlight of the recording for me. 

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