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Thomas Tallis, Christopher Tye, John Sheppard

Audivi Vocem

The Hilliard Ensemble

ECM New Series 1936

Another impeccable recording from the Hilliards, the totally reliable British ensemble whose CDs are benchmarks for music of their chosen period. This release is of works representing the wind of change in the last decades of Henry VIII's reign. Tye advanced word setting with homophonic passages, close imitation and antiphonal devices. Sheppard's music 'defies analysis', and is characterised by a lack of imitation; he has though an unique harmonic ear and sustains large textures in long passages. Tallis displays adventurous harmonic (modal) manipulation.

We are guided in this exemplary issue by David Skinner, whose 6 page essay The Weight of the Word is given in large print, clear black on white, free of the vagaries of too many arts designers these days. Full texts with translations. Recommended.

Peter Grahame Woolf

See Gombert's Magnificat also reviewed by Musical Pointers