"…They have a long and impressive track record, so it's a risky claim to make, but I believe that, on disc, this is the best thing The Tallis Scholars have ever done." ~International Record Review
French composer Jean Mouton was just slightly younger than Josquin Desprez, to whose music his own a cappella choral pieces bear a superficial resemblance. He never followed his contemporaries into the employ of Italy's powerful families, and it is perhaps because he doesn't fit musicology's prevailing narratives that he has been somewhat under-recorded. His best-known work comes at the end here: the motet Nesciens mater, a dual-choir piece written in canon. The Tallis Scholars, unusually for them, perform that work with one voice to a part. It works in this texturally complex piece, clarifying the counterpoint. Equally exhaustive in its way is the Missa Dictes moy toutes voz pensées, which is based on the three-part song that opens the album and explores every last bit of it in a variety of textures. There are several other motets included, and the whole album holds together very beautifully on a plane of calm balance. The Tallis Scholars do this kind of thing very well, and though there's room for a recording that uses a slightly larger choir (most of the music uses two voices per part), this does make one want to hear more of Mouton's masses. The sonics in the Chapel of Oxford's Merton College are impressively rendered. (James Manheim)
To celebrate Arvo Part's 80th birthday, Gimell presents a new recording of some of the Estonian composer's finest a cappella choral works. This is the first album of contemporary music from The Tallis Scholars since their famous 1984 recording of works by John Tavener. The program here includes several major works including the Magnificat, Sieben Magnificat-Antiphonen, Triodion and I Am the True Vine. The album's title refers to the compositional style Part developed in the 1970s and now employs in most of his works. This simple style was influenced by the composer's mystical experiences with sacred chant. Tintinnabuli works often have a slow and meditative tempo and a minimalist approach to both notation and performance.
"The Flemish masters have been at the heart of our work from the beginning, just as they were at the heart of the whole Renaissance musical scene - and their Masses were the showcase in which they displayed their most sophisticated achievements…"