Contemporary reports suggest that Thomas Weelkes was a troubled man, out of sympathy with his time, his tastes (by his own admission) 'untoucht with any other arts' than music. That instability is audible in his music, but so is the art that transcends it. This anthology might carry the subtitle of 'Weelkes's Greatest Hits': from Thule to When David heard, the best-known pieces are all here, and there is no better-rounded overview of his music than this: it allows one to hear familiar ideas and topics recur in different pieces.
For some pieces there exist perhaps more searching readings (specifically for Thule and O care one can turn to The Hilliard Ensemble's anthology), yet The Consort of Musick's lighter touch has considerable charm. They are perhaps at their best in the more light-hearted madrigals and canzonets such as As Vesta was from Latmos or Harke all ye lovely saints above, and in the songs of mourning they find many affecting touches. Only the slighter paraliturgical pieces (O happy he, Like two proud armies, All people clap your hands) fare less well when placed alongside the lengthier madrigals or the more emotionally-charged pieces, but that is probably a matter of programming. In just a few places a retake might have been in order (at the beginning of the Gloria, or in the rather thin-sounding Cease now delight) but all in all it is a pleasure to welcome The Consort of Musick's presence on a more visible platform than their discography has recently enjoyed.'