Vocal Disc of the Month
"...Gallicantus achieves something rather special here."
Fabrice Fitch - Gramophone magazine - October 2012
"...these fine performances reveal some fantastic motets by de Monte and revisit some of Byrd’s finest music – all to an exceptionally high standard. Gallicantus also offer us a sublime performance Byrd’s finest Ne irascaris Domine. This is one of the most beautifully poised recordings of this motet that I have ever heard with alto, Mark Chambers, effortlessly balancing the oaky lower voices with a silvery tone. Unforgettable." ****
Ed Breen - MusicalCriticism.com - August 2012
"Gallicantus explores Byrd’s fascinating ’personal musical exchange’ with Philippe de Monte in The Word Unspoken. Six Byrd motets sit alongside five by the Italian who, like Richafort, deserves to step out from under the shadow cast by giant contemporaries.The singing is beyond exemplary: deeply felt, tenderly phrased, perfectly balanced, with the most profound understanding, seemingly bred in the bone."
Rebecca Tavener - Choir & Organ magazine - September 2012
"...Galicantus give highly charged, heart-rending accounts of this work, and the final coming together in psalm 137 is almost unbearably poignant."
D James Ross - Early Music review - October 2012
"This disc recalls the remarkable exchange between William Byrd and the Flemish composer Philippe de Monte in the 1580s.
De Monte sent Byrd his eight-part motel Super flumina Babylonis. Byrd replied with the eight-part Quomodo cantabimus. These powerful works take their texts from the same psalm, alluding to captivity and exile - a gesture of solidarity for the recusant Catholic Byrd, a subtly conspiratorial reply from the Englishman. The intensity of the music is reflected in Gallicantus’s beautifully shaped performances, even if we miss now the raw sense of peril that English Catholics must then have felt."
Stephen Petit - The Sunday Times - July 2012
Recording of the month
Michael Greenhalgh - MusicWeb-international - November 2012
"As a specialist early-music consort, Gallicantus are perfectly placed here to compare the works of William Byrd and Philippe de Monte - the one a Catholic recusant fortunate in the favour of Elizabeth I for his simpler Protestant pieces, the other a Flemish sympathiser and correspondent. Gallicantus render exquisitely the ornate verses of Byrd’s Cantiones Sacrae, their interwoven timbres cascading in noble equilibrium; but the most direct comparison is between de Monte’s "Superflumina Babylonis" and Byrd’s "Quomodo cantabimus", both derived from Psalm 136, which subsequently gave the world Boney M’s deathless "Rivers of Babylon". In this case at least, music is the winner, whichever one prefers." ****
The Independent - July 2012
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