When The Tallis Scholars recorded Allegri’s Miserere at Merton College Chapel, Oxford, in March 1980, the reputation of this British early music mixed-voice ensemble sky-rocketed and, together with its director Peter Phillips, the choir became a household name. The ‘marvellous acoustics’, wrote reviewer Richard Fairman in these pages, ‘make the Miserere as emotional as one could wish’.
That recording was also the first to be made by Gimell, the record label founded by Phillips and Steve Smith solely to make and release recordings by the group (pictured right in the same year as that memorable recording, inside Merton College Chapel). The label has gone on to make nearly 60 recordings, with many more still in the pipeline.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Gimell is revisiting the original master-tape of that 1980 recording to create a new high-resolution master of the full album – featuring not just the Miserere but also Mundy’s Vox Patris caelestis and Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli. This will be available to download or stream from March 20 – almost exactly 40 years after those first sessions. Gimell is offering 10 Gramophone readers a free high-res download via Hyperion Records’ website – enter the competition below: