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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 12 July 2009
By 
J. Hutchings "jjhutchings" (Framlingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
What a magnificent set of recordings. I had feared when the original recording company went bust that these recordings may be lost, but fortunately The Sixteen's own label, Coro, took them and a wider back catalogue on and saved what is the only recording of the complete book.

The Eton Choirbook is a fundamental 'publication' in English music. It is, pretty much, the largest extant collection of music from the end of the 15th century, collating the music of John Browne, Richard Davy, Walter Lambe, William Cornysh and Robert Fayrfax amongst others. The collection consists of settings of the Magnificat, a Credo, a few settings of the Stabat Mater, and then a host of Marian antiphon motets (I seem to remember there might be one or two to do with Christ, given a change in emphasis at the time of compilation).

Each piece is given its own performance - that is to say that no two pieces are merely given a perfunctory performance by The Sixteen. Of particular mention, for my taste, is the Cornysh Salve Regina. The recordings were made in the great acoustic of St Bartholomew's in Orford, on the Suffolk coast. It is a popular venue for performances and recordings (Britten much admired it), and it is easy to see why: the acoustic, ably recorded, gives an extra bloom to the already superb singing.

To anyone who is a fan of Renaissance music, this set would go far to extend your collection; to anyone who likes the music of Fayrfax or Ludford (beautifully recorded by the Cardinall's Musick - also available on Amazon), this will set your hearts on fire.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious music, wonderfully performed!, 19 Aug 2008
This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful collection of English 15th century sacred music from the Eton Choirbook, a manuscript that survived Henry VIII's ransacking of the monasteries during the Reformation. The Sixteen give accomplished and effortless yet moving performances on this set of 5 CDs - truly glorious and inspiring!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great re-issue, 21 Jan 2009
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
This is a really fine set containing all five of The Sixteen's discs of music from the Eton Choirbook, originally recorded and released in the early 1990s. The Sixteen were already very well-respected at the time and since then Harry Christophers' choir has established itself as one of the world's great ensembles in this repertoire.

The music itself is magnificent. It is a treasure-trove of late 15th- and early 16th-Century English polyphony. A huge amount of English music was lost during the religious upheavals and destruction of the following two centuries and the Eton Choirbook is the sole remaining source for much of the wonderful music performed here - and it is a delight.

The English characteristics of the time including fabulous sonority and a soaring top line are all in evidence, and the effect is stunning. The Sixteen perform superbly, with little or no vibrato, a clarity of line and a sonorous blend which are ideal. Larger scale works send tingles down my spine and the simpler pieces draw you in and hold you with their charm and intimacy. They are simply great discs, every one of them.

At this price for all five discs it's a set to be snapped up, and I recommend it very strongly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eton Choir Book, 5 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
Outstanding collection of à capella music from a period when man was small and God was big. And the music and performance are all great. One must be thankful to fate which let these pieces be saved for the afterworld.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just beautiful, 4 Feb 2009
By 
Jonathan Greenyer "JonathanGreenyer" (Windsor, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
A great collection of CD's, its so good to be able to get them in one pack with such comprehensive sleeve notes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
This collection of the Eton Choirbook sung by the Sixteen is the loveliest , most divine choral music I have ever heard.
I never tire of it, it is just so beautiful and so well sung. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tudor Polyphony, 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Eton Choirbook Collection: the Rose and the Ostrich Feather/Crown of Thorns/Pillars of Eternity/Flower of All Virginity/Voices of Angels (Audio CD)
Simply glorious! As per usual The Sixteen deliver spot-on performances in the perfect acoustic of what is undoubtably some of the most beautiful and serene music to emerge from britain at any time.
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