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Reviews TALLIS SCHOLARS
 

Planethugill.com 15/05/2019: An English Vespers: Rachmaninov from the Tallis Scholars
A lighter more intimate approach to Rachmaninov's Vespers, combined with the music of Sir John Tavener to striking effect…This was an evening of contrasts, the faster sections contrasting with the slow, thoughtful ones, the quiet intimacy with the moments of intense drama, the smooth lines with the more pointed, crisp and energetic rhythms, the languid beauty with moments of intense energy.
…The Tavener Funeral Ikos is amazing in its simplicity, and as such hard to do well. Here the choir (reduced to 12) gave us a superbly crafted performance which focused attention on the amazing work. Robert Hugill – Review in full

Berkeleydailyplanet.com 6/04/2019:: Tallis Scholars Shine in Music Inspired by The Sistine Chapel
Hearing The Tallis Scholars perform sacred works by Renaissance composers who had close associations with the Sistine Chapel was a rare treat. The a capella polyphony of the ten Tallis Scholars vocalists was transcendent. one might even say, trance-inducing.
Gregorio Allegri’s famed Miserere - …For this performance, Peter Philips had the second choir, made up of four women and one man, sing from the foyer at the back of the hall, while the first choir sang from the stage. The soloist, a tenor, sang from stage-right. The dominant feature of this Miserere consists of a single soprano voice repeatedly soaring high above the other voices in verse after verse. The effect here was truly transcendent.
… Sanctus & Benedictus from Palestrina’s Missa Confitebor tibi domine, all ten vocalists of The Tallis Scholars brought out the varying colors of the music. …To enthusiastic applause, The Tallis Scholars performed an encore of a ten-part Crucifixus from Antonio Locris. Whether you are religious or not, this program of Renaissance polyphony sung by The Tallis Scholars was nothing short of heavenly. James Roy MacBean – Review in full

Classicalsonoma  5/04/2019 : Sistine Chapel Inspiration for The Tallis Scholars in Weill Hall
The opening was a Kyrie from Missa Assumpta Est Maria - …The sound of the Tallis Scholars was embraced by Weill’s acoustics of the hall and created transcendant musical experiences: stillness in motion, freedom in order, individual and group supporting and lifting each other. The music and performers became one in a tapestry of intertwining voices, clear and warm.
The second piece was a setting of Regina Caeli by Crisobal De Morales, … Nothing in the interpretation was forced. Dynamics and tempo were masterfully chosen and the music spoke for itself.
Eight of the singers presented the Gloria from Palestrina’s Missa Ecce Ego Johannes. Solo and ensemble alternated in this music of praise. Remarkable always were the clarity of text and beautiful music of changing vowels and new dimensions of sound coloring. The end was a gloriously triumphant Amen.
A standing ovation by the audience of 450 was enthusiastic and sustained, bringing the group back for many bows and then as an encore, Lotti’s Crucifixus in ten voices, showcasing the wonders and expressiveness of polyphony. Sonia Morse Tubridy/Nicky Bell – Review in full

Classicalsource 21/12/2018 : 33rd Christmas Festival at St John’s Smith Square: The Tallis Scholars
Not many choirs can fill two prestigious London churches in the same week. The Tallis Scholars and Peter Phillips are such a draw. Following Temple Church, St John’s Smith Square glowed and buzzed with anticipation at the prospect of a programme that revolved around settings of the Magnificat and biblical texts in veneration of the Virgin Mary.
Hieronymous Praetorius’s Magnificat V opens with a delightful combination of ‘In dulce jubilo’, partly sung in colloquial German, and formal Magnificat text in Latin. The sopranos blended beautifully as this intimate cradle-song alternated with tenor chant and fugal writing.
William Byrd, another work that provided contrasts between melancholy and layered five-part singing of great beauty … The Tallis Scholars conveyed all the complexity of this repertoire and communicated its spiritual depth and meaning, …. Amanda-Jane Doran - Review in full

L’Avenir 5/07/2018: Surpris par la beauté de la vie
…J’ai été fasciné par la précision, la clarté, de chaque voix faisant entendre sa différence mais également son souci de dialogue et de cohésion au sein d’un ensemble d’une exceptionnelle qualité. Arvo Pärt ouvre le concert avec trois odes implorant la pitié divine. Les dix voix remplissent la nef, comme venant de lieux différents, elles se répondent, s’unissent, parfois s’arrêtent pour mieux repartir. Les voix sont pures, elles font entendre leurs complaintes, de manière poignante, jamais désespérée….. Je frissonne et me laisse porter par ces voix qui courent de l’une à l’autre, et nous transportent vers un ailleurs….
…Les Tallis Scholars entonnaient lLe Kyrie de Tavernier …je ne suis pas prêt d’oublier ce bref morceau où les voix se mêlent, s’entremêlent, se démêlent et fuient, nous offrant milles couleurs diverses. Ils poursuivaient avec le Diliges Dominum de William Byrd dont le précieux livret d’accompagnement de Marc Maréchal décrit la prouesse technique d’écriture et dès lors la difficulté d’exécution que la limpidité du chant du chœur anglais ne laissait pas percevoir.
Quittant l’abbeye hier soir au soleil couchant, c’est précisément ce que je vivais. Merci Festival de Namur, merci Tallis Scholars, merci Arvo Pärt et vous musiciens qui parlaient à nos cœurs et les laissaient surprendre par la beauté de la vie. Yves Poullet

Portsmouth.co.uk 25/06/2018 : The Tallis Scholars at Portsmouth Cathedral
Absolute flawless perfection! A glittering jewel! The finest choir in the land, the Tallis Scholars, produced a truly memorable evening of serene music at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral as part of the Portsmouth Festivities. …The programme was perfectly suited to the cathedral’s rich and warm acoustic, with the glorious polyphonic lines of William Byrd and the more ascetic music of Arvo Pärt and John Tavener seemingly purpose-written for the building.  Peter Gambie - Review in full

Calgaryherald.com 30/04/2018 :Tallis Scholars at the Bella an unforgettable night of the sublime
This was only the second Tallis Scholars appearance in Calgary in nearly 30 years but the wait was well worth it. They sang exquisitely, every millisecond of music perfectly crafted and every sonority a nuanced world unto its own.
The surrounding Mass movements of the concert’s first half were sublime. Nothing perfunctory here: the Kyrie from Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé sexti toni was a suave masterpiece of phrasing and the Guerrero Gloria from the Missa Batalia with its throbbing, reduced-texture slow sections made scrupulous use of glowing harmony and a subtly broadened chordal spectrum. But the true highlight was Arvo Pärt’s The Woman with the Alabaster Box, … Pärt’s counterpoint is pellucid, the Tallis Scholars’ rendition crystalline — the finest possible demonstration of a seamless, perfect tintinnabulation style specified for these works. Each mild dissonance was wedded closely to the text, set against a larger-than-usual plethora of gorgeous sustained tones. In the balanced space of the Bella, each line, every moment, every resonant ring of the acoustic mattered. With this minimalist music, the Tallis Scholars made count every maximalist moment. Stephan Bonfield - Review in full

Gapplegate Music Review 26/04/2017 : CD Josquin du pres, Josquin Masses, Di dadi, Une mousse de Biscaye, the Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips
….in the hands of The Tallis Scholars, a talented and angelic vocal ensemble who exemplify the best practices in early music performance today, we hear two Josquin Masses: Di dadi, Une mousse de Biscaye (Gimell CDGIM 048).
"Di dadi" is remarkable in that Josquin's creative intent was inspired by the throwing of dice. Beyond that point of extreme interest these two masses are at the highest levels of craft and art. The performances are very moving. The music sublime. Nothing more need be said. - Grego Applegate Edwards - Full article

Limelightmagazine.com.au 5/11/2016:★★★★½ Renaissance masters make sublime and welcome return to Oz.
As a conductor, Phillips is skilled in seeing the close of a work from its outset, steering his ship home over seemingly endless seas. Nowhere was this better demonstrated than in Purcell's penetrating Hear My Prayer … This critic's favourite though was the sophisticated post-Reformation polyphony of late Tallis as demonstrated in Suscipe Quaeso from the great Cantiones Sacrae of 1575. The impressive effortlessness of the voices here created a compelling web of ever shifting sound.
Performing works by today's composers shows that a choir is part of a living, breathing tradition, and each of the modern pieces on display here were fully worthy of inclusion. From the forensic dissection laying bare the teeth-rattling clashing harmonies of Nico Muhly's Lamentations to the blissful simplicity of Tavener's The Lamb, Phillips proved an adept master of the modern.
The two standouts here were the razor-sharp precision of Arvo Pärt's perverse yet cunningly compelling genealogical list, Which Was The Son Of... and, even more remarkable, John Rutter's Hymn to the Creator of Light. T…No one does tonal dissonance quite like the Tallis Scholars, and here we were in genuine goosebump territory.  Clive Paget

Thebarefootreview.com.au 3/12/2016: The Tallis Scholars
The Tallis Scholars are Renaissance choral music specialists, and they are at the pinnacle of their craft. Quite simply, they are without equal, and much of it is down to Peter Philips, their founder and conductor.
Spem in Alium – the finale of the eveningand everything else in the program which precedes it, and it is all exquisite, …The audience leaves in a state of sublime contentment. - Kym Clayton

The Guardian 23/10/2016: Josquin: Masses Di dadi, Une mousse de Biscaye  – dicing with the devil
…As ever this revered group, in the latest in their all-Josquin series, spins and weaves the long vocal lines faultlessly. - Fiona Maddocks

Theclassicalreviewer.be 18/10/2016: With their new Josquin disc for Gimell, Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars show that they remain at the top of their game
The Kyrie and opening section of the Gloria from the Missa Di Dadi can be seen on YouTube via the following link.
…After 43 years Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars remain at the top of their game. They bring such lovely control, pacing, harmonies and textures. There is an especially fine recording from the chapel of Merton College, Oxford together with excellent notes from Peter Phillips as well as full Latin texts and English translations. This is a very fine addition to the Tallis Scholars’ remarkable catalogue - Bruce Reader

 

 

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