The Tallis Scholars sing Palestrina Double CD
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Missa Assumpta est Maria in Caelum - Missa Sicut lilium inter spinas - Missa Brevis - Missa Papae Marcelli - Lamentations pour le Samedi Saint / The Thallis Scholars, dir. Peter Phillips
Artistic Quality - 10 / 10 Sound Quality - 9 / 10 Although it's difficult to discern from the outer packaging, this two-disc Palestrina compilation is made from several earlier Tallis Scholars recordings, including the group's groundbreaking Missa Papae Marcelli from 1980. There's not much to say here that hasn't already been said regarding the performances, which are exemplary and remain the standard against which other choirs must be measured in this repertoire. If you have the original Gimell recordings--most of these appear on the four-disc set "The Palestrina 400 Collection" and also are available on several individual discs, then you don't really need this--unless you want all of these superb works (and performances) under one roof. My only slight caution is that the Missa Papae Marcelli, the earliest-recorded of the selections, is somewhat brassy and harsh in loud passages--otherwise, the sound is excellent. If your collection lacks Palestrina, I can only surmise that the reason is you've been waiting for this release. So what are you waiting for? This is it. --classicstoday.com
Top Customer Reviews
This double CD released in 2005 is beautifully illustrated (front cover, booklet cover and on the front of each CD themselves) with reproductions of Michelangelo's paintings of five sybils (prophetess) as seen in the Sistine chapel.
The recordings, from various dates in the 1980's and 1990's, are of equal match to the artwork. The most popular of the works `Missa Papae Marcelli' is the landmark 1980 recording from Merton College Chapel, Oxford and still remains, for many, the finest version in existence.
Three other popular masses are included, the 1986 recording also from Merton College Chapel of `Missa Brevis', and 1989 recordings from the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Salle, Norfolk of the `Missa Assumpta est Maria in caelum' and `Missa Sicut lilium inter spinas'.
The 24 page booklet provides a short narration of the works by Peter Phillips, a biography of the Tallis Scholars and a translation into English of all the libretti to the works.
In my view this is essential listening and a fine example of some of the best music from the Renaissance era.
The Tallis Scholars were invited to sing in the Sistine Chapel to mark the 500th anniversary of Palestrina's death, and it's obvious from these performances why the Vatican chose them above all the world's other great choirs. I have owned and loved the original discs since they were first issued, and I am sure you will feel the same about this reissue - and for a bargain price, too. Whether you're looking for an introduction to Palestrina's music or a recording of four of his great masses to last you all your life, this disc is recommended in the warmest terms.
(If you find you like this, you may also be interested in The Tallis Scholars Sing Josquin,(Tallis Scholars Sing Josquin) which I think is even lovelier, and The Taverner Consort's recording of Thomas Tallis's Latin Church Music which includes Spem in alium (Tallis: Spem in alium · Latin Church Music /Taverner Consort & Choir · Parrott). Both are very reasonably priced reissues of some of the finest polyphony recorded in the last 25 years.)