"...The whole thing is a delight, superbly played, sung and recorded ..."
Peter Grahame Woolf
The Organ - July 2002
".. Well worth hearing."
International Record Review - December 2002/January 2003
"This recording, the fifth in a series devoted to the complete works of Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585), focuses on hymns and responsories for the Divine Office, the daily cycle of liturgical prayers excluding the Mass.
This entire series has impressed me with its blend of scholarship - the liner notes are superb - and superior musicianship Alistair Dixon’s Chapelle du Roi continues to make me rave. The ensemble doesn’t transpose Tallis’s music up, so the high voices float majestically upwards without strain while the lower voices provide solid bedrock. Chapelle du Roi’s singing is marvelously natural and communicates the music’s reverence They sound like the world’s best church choir-exactly what this music demands."
Early Music America
"The cadences of Tallis’s works invariably contain some marvellous minor seconds that push the tension to the limits of the then incipient harmonic system. This is, perhaps, one of the hallmarks of the style of Thomas Tallis, one of the greatest composers of the sixteenth century. "He is dead and music is dying", wrote William Byrd. Beyond the poetic exaggeration, nothing musical was foreign to him and several of his works, freed of their original functions by the passage of time, would become masterpieces, not just of their own time but in the history of music.
Chapelle du Roi, an English group founded in 1994 and containing some of the best virtues of the choral tradition of that country, are involved in the recording of his complete works. The latest disc released is the fifth, which includes the choral hymns and responsories not included in the previous recording, plus Tallis’s liturgical music for organ: five hymns and three antiphons for the Divine Office, an Alleluia for the Lady Mass and an extensive arrangement from Felix namque. The excellent voices, precise gestures (although perhaps somewhat excessively contained) of the passages in plainchant, clear phrasing, although not as sharp as that used by the Tallis Scholars, and precise tuning, make these versions (with very high points, for example in Veni Redemptor gentium) extremely recommendable. The organ pieces are performed on a marvellous instrument in the chapel of Knole House, with a stylistic rigour that does not prevent them from exuding warmness. An appropriate finishing touch to this magnificent recording." ****
"Completion fanatics should not miss the fifth of nine planned CDs of the surviving works of Thomas Tallis, the 16th century master. Alistair Dixon’s Chapelle du Roi traverse the hymns and responsories of the Divine Office with characterful contributions from the Knole House organ. This is beautiful contemplative music: just the thing to relax the mind after a hard day’s collecting." ****
The Times - July 2002
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