Music at All Souls, Oxford

A splendidly sung anthology of early English sacred music performed by musicians who are clearly at home in this repertoire

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: ? Nicholas Sturgeon, Robert I Parsons, Robert White, John Merbecke (Marbeck), John Dunstable, John Sheppard, Richard Davy, Leonel Power, Christopher Tye, Walter Lambe, Henry V, Thomas Tallis, Anonymous

Label: Gaudeamus

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: CDGAU196

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Salve mater domini/Salve templum domini ? Nicholas Sturgeon Composer
Andrew Carwood
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Ave Maria (The) Cardinall's Musick
Andrew Carwood
Robert I Parsons Composer
Lamentations (5vv) Robert White Composer
Andrew Carwood
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Funeral Sentences (The) Cardinall's Musick
Andrew Carwood
John Merbecke (Marbeck) Composer
Descendi in ortum meum Andrew Carwood
John Dunstable Composer
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Christ our Paschal Lamb John Sheppard Composer
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Andrew Carwood
O Domine caeli terraeque Richard Davy Composer
Andrew Carwood
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Credo (The) Cardinall's Musick
Leonel Power Composer
Andrew Carwood
(Salve Regina) Ad te clamamus Christopher Tye Composer
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Andrew Carwood
Nesciens mater (The) Cardinall's Musick
Walter Lambe Composer
Andrew Carwood
(2) Sacred Chruses Henry V Composer
(The) Cardinall's Musick
Andrew Carwood
Verily, verily say I unto you (The) Cardinall's Musick
Thomas Tallis Composer
Andrew Carwood
Sarum Chant Anonymous Composer
Andrew Carwood
(The) Cardinall's Musick
It is hard to support the claim that ‘All the music … recorded here is associated with the first 150 years of the College’s history.’ The only direct connection seems to be in the last three pieces found (one of them uniquely) in a set of partbooks copied by Robert Dow, who ended his days as a bursar of the college. But this collection is a fine and resourceful anthology of English music from the beginning of the 15th century to about 1570; and such music was plainly sung at All Souls College from the time of its foundation in 1438.
Among the welcome rarities here are the two Mass movements ascribed in the Old Hall manuscript to ‘Roy Henry’ (perhaps King Henry V), Walter Lambe’s Nesciens mater and some smaller works by Tallis, Tye and Parsons. But the two most imposing pieces are Richard Davy’s extended motet, O Domine caeli terraeque, and Robert White’s marvellous Lamentations – too often forgotten in the shade of Tallis’s more famous setting. Both are presented in readings that articulate their design and growth with considerable flair.
<The performances are superb throughout; invariably clear and excellently tuned, projected without eccentricities, and full of beautifully caught moments. Most of the music is sung by solo voices, evidently reflecting the small group of singers at All Souls. In the earliest pieces Steven Harrold is wonderfully lucid on the top line, Dunstable’s late four-voice Descendi in ortum meum receives perhaps its best recording to date, and the 16th-century pieces have a nicely devotional feel to them. But my favourite performances here are of the two works by Davy and Lambe, both from the Eton Choirbook: Andrew Carwood plainly has an instinctive feel for the textures and lines of this repertory, and I hope he will record much more of it in the future.'

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