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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 26 February 2008
In my view there is an extra dimension to this ensemble that rivals that of the wonderful Tallis Scholars, Oxford Camerata, Magnificat and other notable exponents of this genre. Firstly the male only approach with countertenors taking the top lines, and secondly simply the musicality, and fine, precise ensemble and beautiful intonation of this ensemble.

Please do also see their recordings of White/Whyte, Lassus and above all the two of Gombert (Hyperion). There is also a recording of early Marian "Christmas" music (Isaac, Arcadelt, Mouton, et al.) and of De La Rue (both on the Etcetera label) available by Gombert which are also highly recommended.

This is choral singing at its finest. Henry's Eight was originally formed by former choral scholars of Trinity College, Cambridge.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 11 August 2010
This a really excellent disc of very beautiful music, beautifully sung. The mass setting here is one of about thirty which survive by Pierre de la Rue, and shows why his music has received far more attention in the last few years. It is beautiful, passionate and very skilfully composed with de la Rue's distinctive, slightly spare style very much in evidence. Interposed with the mass movements are motets by Josquin, Ockeghem, Willaert and Clemens non Papa, including the latter's sublime setting of Pater peccavi. It's a really enjoyable and satisfying programme.

The performances are truly excellent. Henry's Eight are an all-male ensemble with top lines taken by countertenors. This gives a rich, full sound which suits the music extremely well. Technically impeccable, they also show a real empathy with the text and have a lovely blend while preserving the clarity of individual lines. It's a flawless performance which brings out the real greatness of some of the music here. (It's fascinating, by the way, to compare this Pater peccavi with the excellent recording by the Tallis Scholars who sing with high sopranos in the top lines . They are different experiences, but both are wonderful.)

The recorded sound is excellent and the notes good, if a little spare, with full texts and translations. It's a very fine disc in every way, and wholeheartedly recommended.

(I agree completely with semanteme's review here, by the way. Henry's Eight's other discs, particularly their Gombert on Hyperion now re-released at budget price Gombert: Credo & other sacred music, are also excellent.)
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