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Magnificat
Magnificat

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding CD by Canterbury layclerks, 12 Feb. 2017
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This review is from: Magnificat (Audio CD)
In my experience this is the finest disc of its type. Although it is only the adult male singers of Canterbury Cathedral (altos, tenors, baritones and basses) they sing a wide repertory from the Middle Ages via Byrd and Poulenc to contemporary composers, and the performances are uniformly excellent. They do not sing in a single style, but respond to each piece, and really penetrate to the heart of every work. Against some outstanding "opposition" they give the best versions on disc of Byrd's motets for Epiphany and his "Ave Maria", and the rest of the album is well up to this standard.


Chopin: The Complete Works, Vol. 6 - High Society
Chopin: The Complete Works, Vol. 6 - High Society
Price: £17.66

5.0 out of 5 stars For those wanting musicianly and insightful performances of the genius ..., 31 Aug. 2016
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For those wanting musicianly and insightful performances of the genius of Chopin, Ian Hobson's complete series is ideal, and should be more widely available. This volume contains Chopin's delicious take on the Bolero, alongside other gems such as the Andante spianato and the opus 17 Mazurkas, of which the fourth and final piece contains the phrase borrowed so devastatingly by Gorecki for his Symphony of Sorrows.


Vaughan Williams: Choral Works
Vaughan Williams: Choral Works
Offered by worldcollectabilia
Price: £14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime performance of a sublime work, 16 Oct. 2015
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Still the best recording of this lovely work, which is held particularly dear by those who are drawn to it.


Aja  Remastered
Aja Remastered
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £5.48

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Louis Balfour's lovechild, 18 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: Aja Remastered (Audio CD)
Undeniably good but a bit self-consciously classy, without the range of "The Royal Scam" and "Pretzel Logic" which both include some ballsier tracks than those on this disc. Probably it was overpraised (1977) but was what many people wanted at the time. It is a very "jazz" attitude that certain solos, such as several of those on this disc, are held up as iconic and worthy of analysis, whereas a "rock" attitude would prefer something that at least sounds more spontaneous and improvised, less calculated or prepared, and therefore more likely to change at any future performance. Overall impression: perhaps a bit claustrophobic. No outstanding tracks, as they are all much of a classy muchness. This style of "jazz" was ruthlessly pilloried in the musical intro to the regular sketch "Jazz Club" in the BBC TV comedy "The Fast Show" ... nnnice!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2016 6:15 PM BST


Cristóbal de Morales: Sources, Influences, Reception (6) (Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music)
Cristóbal de Morales: Sources, Influences, Reception (6) (Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music)
by Owen Rees
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £50.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A great Spanish and European composer, 18 Sept. 2015
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An excellent compendium of essays and information about a composer every bit as good as his better-known younger compatriot Victoria. Most valuable of all is a comprehensive annotated list of Morales' works, which includes sources, modern editions, and explanations concerning questionable attributions, whether the pieces in question are left with Morales or given to other composers. Evidence is provided not only from printed criticism about Morales, but also from personal or informal contact conveyed by experts on his music. Morales is among a group of wonderfully gifted composers who have been insufficiently championed because their lives came between those of Josquin and Palestrina, to whom academics and performers have hitherto paid a disproportionate amount of attention. Now however the works of this neglected generation, who unlike Morales are predominantly Franco-Flemish, have been published, and the sheer excellence of their music is coming to be recognised and celebrated. With the publication of this book in 2007 Morales became a deserving beneficiary of this trend.


Split
Split

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Groundhogs, 18 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: Split (Audio CD)
Alas the words iconic and seminal are now clichés, but they are the ones to describe this recording from the tail-end of the British blues boom. I cannot think of better slide guitar playing than Tony McPhee's self-accompaniment in his version of John Lee Hooker's Groundhog Blues, and there is more of the same with the rest of the band in Split #3. With a driving rhythm section, which can also be sleazy when required in slower items, the Groundhogs are a powerful trio, and McPhee's voice is one of the very best from the boom.


Stabat Mater - Late Medieval Motets of Penitence and Passion
Stabat Mater - Late Medieval Motets of Penitence and Passion
Offered by The London Lane Company
Price: £40.28

4.0 out of 5 stars Passionate Pashe, 13 April 2015
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Valuable for including a piece by the elusive early English (pre-Tallis) composer William Pashe. Only three of his works survive - a mass, a Magnificat and this motet. The Magnificat is available in a fine recording by The Byrd Ensemble on Scribe Records. Cantores sing Pashe's motet well, and give good performances of settings of the "Stabat Mater" by Josquin and Lassus, plus other music by Mouton, Cornysh, Sheppard and Gombert that make up the rest of this recording. The disc has been deleted for now. The original review in The Gramophone suggested that their version - one of the first on disc - of Sheppard's monumental (23 minutes) "Media vita" outstayed its welcome. Subsequent recordings and live performances have revealed "Media vita" as the masterpiece that it is, and although Cantores' version is not quite at the level of its successors, it still makes a nonsense of that review. Over the piece, this is a disc that it well worth listening to, and deserves to be reissued..


Humfrey: Verse Anthems
Humfrey: Verse Anthems

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pelham Humfrey: Verse Anthems, 6 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Humfrey: Verse Anthems (Audio CD)
Pelham Humfrey's relatively few surviving verse anthems are as striking as those of Purcell and Blow. Unfortunately Humfrey, twelve years older than Purcell and two years older than Blow, was a mere 27 when he died, but his works contain strong and memorable melodies, and striking harmonies. "O Lord my God" is a classic of the Restoration repertory. Soloists from among the best early music singers of the time, including the underrated American soprano Donna Deam, are supported capably by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, and accompanied by Romanesca, a small ensemble consisting of outstanding instrumentalists specializing in the music of this period. From every perspective, a distinguished recording.


Oh, that the salvation
Oh, that the salvation
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably Wales's greatest composer, this verse anthem is from a CD ..., 13 Sept. 2014
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Arguably Wales's greatest composer, this verse anthem is from a CD which showcases Tomkins's skill, as a pupil of Byrd the greatest of all British composers, and his originality as an individual. Fine performance by The Choir of New College, Oxford. Worth investing in the entire disc unless, like me, you own all the other tracks on other recordings!


Ferrabosco: Psalm 103; Motets & Madrigals /Huelgas Ensemble · P van Nevel
Ferrabosco: Psalm 103; Motets & Madrigals /Huelgas Ensemble · P van Nevel
Price: £19.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ferrabosco is a good composer rather than a great one, 29 July 2014
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Ferrabosco is a good composer rather than a great one, but he was an important influence on Byrd and as such deserves a hearing. Or rather, some hearings, as his seemingly bland music sounds better the second and subsequent times. The treatment of the long Psalm is fidgety and distracting, with each verse performed by a different combination of musicians, but the participants are capable and do all the music justice.


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