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An Emerald in a Work of Gold: Music from the Dow Partbooks


Price: £13.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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An Emerald in a Work of Gold: Music from the Dow Partbooks + O Virgo Benedicta - Music of Marian Devotion from Spain's Century of Gold
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Product details

  • Conductor: Roy McCleery
  • Composer: Mundy, Mallory, White, Parsons, Tallis, et al.
  • Audio CD (3 Dec 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Delphian
  • ASIN: B00A26UFXE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,215 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Sive vigilem 2:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. A Doleful Deadly Pang 1:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. In Nomine a 5 No. 2 3:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Miserere a 5 1:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Vestigia mea dirige 5:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. In Nomine a 5 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. O Lord, how vain 4:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Justus es, Domine 8:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. In Nomine ['Follow Me'] 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. O Salutaris hostia 3:03£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Retribue servo tuo 8:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Come, Holy Ghost 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. La gamba 1:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. La verginella 2:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Dum transisset Sabbatum 3:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Ascendo ad Patrem meum 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Non me vincat, Deus meus 4:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Madonna somm'acorto 2:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Je file quand Dieu me donne de quoy 1:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Pour vous aymer j'ay mis toute ma cure 1:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Ave Maria 4:12£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

For its second Delphian recording, The Marian Consort have leafed through the beautifully calligraphed pages of the partbooks compiled in Oxford between 1581 and 1588 by the Elizabethan scholar Robert Dow, to present a deeply satisfying sequence of some of their brightest jewels. Sumptuous motets, melancholy consort songs and intricate, harmonically daring viol fantasies are seamlessly interwoven, all brought to life by seven voices and the robust plangency of the Rose Consort of Viols in the chapel of All Souls College, Oxford where Dow himself was once a Fellow.

About the Artist

The Marian Consort is a young, dynamic early music vocal ensemble founded in Oxford in 2007. Combining academic insight with high levels of performance practice, the ensemble predominantly explores the repertoire of Renaissance and early Baroque music with its director Rory McCleery. They are joined by the Rose Consort of Viols, which takes its name from the celebrated family of viol makers, whose work spanned the development of the English consort repertoire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Midgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Dec 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is a fascinating programme of works selected from the Dow Partbooks, in which the Elizabethan scholar and collector Robert Dow assembled, between 1581 and 1588, a meticulously copied selection of contemporary pieces reflecting his own eminently well-judged musical tastes. The title of the disc, originating from the Old Testament, is also quoted in the partbooks. The resulting collection forms a rich source of fine, and in many cases otherwise unknown, music; it includes a cappella vocal works, solo consort songs and pieces for viol consort, arranged here in an attractive and well-varied sequence.

There are some lovely works on this enterprising disc, several of them not available in any other recording. Composers include eminent figures such as Byrd, Tallis, White and Parsons; but on the whole it is the lesser-known pieces that fare best of all, such as the soprano consort song "Come, Holy Ghost" or the beautiful a cappella "Dum transisset Sabbatum" (tracks 12 and 15), both by Mr. Anon. The same applies to the works by the almost-as-unknown Nicholas Strogers (tracks 2, 3 and 17) - the first of which, the consort song "A doleful deadly pang", is beautifully sung by countertenor Rory McCleery. All the viol consort pieces are fine works, played to perfection by the Rose Consort.

However, there is a problem with this CD, and that is the sound and balance of the voices. The Marian Consort consists of seven voices, of which four are high: two sopranos, two countertenors, and one each of tenor, baritone and bass. This results in a poor balance with an unusually high, top-heavy texture, and in fact they evidently had to transpose some of the works upwards in order to suit their combination of voices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Moose on 13 Oct 2013
Format: Audio CD
Thanks to Stephen Midgley's detailed review I don't need to attempt (and fail) any such myself but,... speaking as a simple music-enthusiast it all sounds wonderful to me. I'm particularly fond of voice + viol which pieces brought me to this cd release in the first place. This 'review' will most likely end up sounding more like a 'comment' on aforementioned S.M. review.

I wasn't aware of any top-heaviness to the voices and I haven't gotten around to comparisons (I'm sure I must have some pieces in alternative recordings somewhere about me) but in any case, in regard to the sopranos, methinks these are two absolutely beautiful voices which become the focus of my attention anyway, whether it be either one singly, or both together. Likewise I find the countertenors very pleasant.

The fact is that there are a several recording countertenors commonly encountered whose voices manage to irritate the hell out of me (off-hand, I can name Michael Chance and James Bowman as countertenor voices that I enjoy), and a good few vocal groups whose sopranos leave me cold for want of having truly beautiful voices... so, this here being an ensemble whose sopranos are very lovely indeed, and whose countertenors are very pleasant (and the rest jolly pleasing too) I'm so engrossed in the pure enjoyment that I'd have to make a mighty effort to insist to myself that it's too top-heavy.

If I lost my copy I'd certainly go and buy it again - absolutely wins 5 stars from me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Tudor textures 22 Dec 2012
By Stephen Midgley - Published on Amazon.com
This is a fascinating programme of works selected from the Dow Partbooks, in which the Elizabethan scholar and collector Robert Dow assembled, between 1581 and 1588, a meticulously copied selection of contemporary pieces reflecting his own eminently well-judged musical tastes. The title of the disc, originating from the Old Testament, is also quoted in the partbooks. The resulting collection forms a rich source of fine, and in many cases otherwise unknown, music; it includes a cappella vocal works, solo consort songs and pieces for viol consort, arranged here in an attractive and well-varied sequence.

There are some lovely works on this enterprising disc, several of them not available in any other recording. Composers include eminent figures such as Byrd, Tallis, White and Parsons; but on the whole it is the lesser-known pieces that fare best of all, such as the soprano consort song "Come, Holy Ghost" or the beautiful a cappella "Dum transisset Sabbatum" (tracks 12 and 15), both by Mr. Anon. The same applies to the works by the almost-as-unknown Nicholas Strogers (tracks 2, 3 and 17) - the first of which, the consort song "A doleful deadly pang", is beautifully sung by countertenor Rory McCleery. All the viol consort pieces are fine works, played to perfection by the Rose Consort.

However, there is a problem with this CD, and that is the sound and balance of the voices. The Marian Consort consists of seven voices, of which four are high: two sopranos, two countertenors, and one each of tenor, baritone and bass. This results in a poor balance with an unusually high, top-heavy texture, and in fact they evidently had to transpose some of the works upwards in order to suit their combination of voices. The resulting sound, for me, robs the vocal music of some of its gravity and contemplative power. Robert Parsons' glorious "Ave Maria" (track 21) suffers especially in this respect - you can easily hear the difference by comparing it, for example, with renditions of this splendid piece by Magnificat Where late the sweet birds sang or The Cardinall's Musick Parsons: Sacred Music. The same composer's "Retribue servo tuo" (11) suffers a similar fate. The recording team could perhaps have found some way of mitigating the effect, but evidently they didn't. It's a shame, because there are some fine voices in there, including two lovely sopranos of whom I especially liked the pure, almost vibrato-free tone of Emma Walshe; the lower voices would probably be fine too if only you could hear them properly, and there's no doubt that the singers bring style, spirit and commitment to their work.

This, then, is in essence a fine and adventurous programme and, for those interested in the repertoire, it surely deserves attention. But I would suggest that, if you can, you might want to listen a bit before buying; you might well find you can live with the sound and vocal balance or else you may, as I do, find them wearying in places. At the end I am left with the memory of the closing item, that tinsel-textured "Ave Maria". A slight disappointment in this respect, then, but significantly compensated by the very high quality of the music, and by the attraction and well-judged coherence of the programme.
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