Most helpful positive review
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Not as great as the Magnificat disc, but still terrific.
on 13 May 2004
For most people, the star attraction of the disc will be Tallis' Spem in Alium. My favourites to date have been the impeccable but still powerful Tallis Scholars’ version on Gimmel (beautifully recorded) and, more recently, a magnificent, heart-stoppingly beautiful rendition by Magnificat on Linn (SACD and HDCD), also splendidly recorded. This new version has an edge on redbooks in that it is recorded in the round and in surround, in a beautifully balanced, hugely impressive MC recording. To my mind, the performance doesn't quite match the purity of the Tallis Scholars or the powerful beauty of Magnificat, but its pretty damned close, and the sound is a winner. I wouldn’t replace the Magnificat recording for anything, but this will stand alongside it.
For me, the stand out track apart from "Spem" was Thomas Tomkin's disciplined but gravely moving elegy for Prince Henry (son of James I) "Know you not" but the whole disc is musically strong. For this track and most of the rest of the pieces, the rear speakers largely carry just ambient information, which is both quite natural and appropriate.
My only quibble with the sound is that, compared to the Linn disc, it sounds a little artificial and glassy. But otherwise, an excellent disc.