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The three discs in this set are compiled from the set of five discs which The Cardinall's Musick made of Fayrfax's complete works. Fayrfax himself was an English composer of the first half of the 16th Century, and wrote these five magnificent mass settings plus some very beautiful settings of the Magnificat and other texts. His music is rich, delicately beautiful in some places and spine-tinglingly sonorous in others. The Cardinall's Musick are the perfect ensemble for this repertoire: a superb group of singers with a rich, resonant tone and acoustic, directed by the excellent Andrew Carwood who has an unsurpassed feel and understanding of English music of this period. The combination is irresistible, and I urge you not to resist.

The original five discs were favourites of mine as they came out, and remain so. This set is slightly diminished in that works such as the sublimely lovely Aeternae laudis lilium are missing, and two of the masses have to be split over two discs. However, at this price you are getting a simply fantastic set of music which will give you pleasure for years and years to come. Just listen to the Sanctus of the Missa Albanus and I guarantee you'll be transported by its sheer loveliness. A set not to be missed.

You may also be interested in The Cardinall's Musick's set of Nicholas Ludford's Festal Masses (Nicholas Ludford: The Festal Masses) which are equally good.
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on 25 April 2009
Fayrfax's music is beautiful and not unlike the music of John Taverner (the Tudor fellow, not the modern guy with the propensity towards mysticism). And, perhaps its that early tudor period which is the most celestial in musical vision. I think something is lost in the music of later composers, such as Byrd.
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Being a relative latecomer to the ensemble "The Cardinall's Musick", I had hoped to be able to obtain their five discs of Robert Fayrfax's music, but at the time I bought this they were either unavailable, or only in ultra-expensive second hand copies (at the time of writing this review the original five discs are available once again). This three disc reduced set comprising the quintet of Fayrfax's surviving masses taken from those discs seemed like a decent second best option though and a bargain in price. Also here is a new recording, a recently discovered motet by Fayrfax "Anima Christe".

TCM's performances of Faryfax's five-part masses are beautifully sonorous, carrying the listener along in gentle undulations, although with three voices per part (the arrangement being SATBarB x 3) it lacks a certain textual clarity. The booklet contains some interesting notes, sung texts and translations and the sheet music for the motet.
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on 15 February 2013
Fayrax transports us to another world. His muic encapsulated all that is best in medieval church music. Prepare to be enthralled.
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on 1 March 2014
This set is simply superb.

Beautifull choral harmonies, clearly sung.

Great acustics and many minutes of enjoyment.

A reference choice.

Capezio
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