Byrd Masses and Motets
This for me, is the sort of musical bliss which should never stop. The Tallis Scholars let the composer's phrases flow through them and there is no trace of self-consciousness, no advertising some new-found authenticity. There is a certain matter-of-fact directness which makes the contrapuntal lines agree without losing identity and which treats chordal passages as simultaneous counterpoint rather than a preview of close harmony technique. John Milsom's review of the two-record LP set found the slow movements and the three-part Mass a little impersonal, a little mechanical. Well, I would not wish any more overt involvement. I find in these performances the awe and mystery I had always expected. Compact Disc treatment reveals a great degree of warmth flowing through the musical veins. Only Ave verum corpus remains of the three motets originally recorded but it is a haunting performance. I know of no better advocate for Byrd's music than this disc.'