Thomas Tallis, Oxford Camerata - Mass For Four Voices And Motets

Monday 1st August 1994
Thomas Tallis, Oxford Camerata - Mass For Four Voices And Motets

STYLE: Choral
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Naxos 8550576
RRP: £5.99

Reviewed by John Irvine

Thomas Tallis was the father of English church music and his music has been consistently popular with choirs down through the ages, primarily due to the breadth and diversity of that music. Tallis served four Tudor monarchs, two Catholic and two Protestant, during a very dangerous period of history. During his long life he composed music which suited them and their times very well. He served both the establishment as well as the underground Roman Catholic Church. This collection spans his whole career and reflects both the Protestant and Catholic traditions, concentrating on the works for a small group of voices. In addition to the not so well known "Mass", you will also find pieces still used in cathedrals today: "Salvator Mundi" and "O Sacrum Convivium" for example. The Oxford Camerata give good clear performances of Tallis' smaller scale works, but the actual sound quality could be described as either 'boxy' or 'intimate' depending on your preferences. I'd say 'boxy', with the singers too closely miked and too little use made of the acoustics of the recording hall, a definite problem since a small group of voices generally needs a little 'padding out' to avoid sounding too close and too sparse. Nevertheless a fine performance of Tallis.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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