Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:


GRAMOPHONE (12/2023)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code barres / Barcode : 0635212077627


Outil de traduction
Translator tool

Reviewer :
 David Fallows

The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, on New York’s Fifth Avenue, counts as one of the leading Anglican church choirs in the USA, with its own resident choir school (apparently the only one in the country) and a series of conductors who have led the most famous Oxbridge and London choirs. This is their contribution to marking the 500th anniversary of Byrd’s death. The odd feature is that they do so with what must be absolutely the most often-recorded pre-1650 work: Byrd’s fourvoice Mass. Certainly they dress it up with Corpus Christi propers from Gradualia, which are slightly less recorded; and they add all the collects and other bits normally sung by the officiating priest (as they are here). They then add a few motets and the Great Service in a recording done by the same choir in 1981 – another work that has benefited from many superb recordings in recent years.


Everything is done at a very high professional level but the competition here is keen. The only refreshing departure comes at the end of the Benedictus of the Mass, a moment where there is an overlap between the normally gentle sounds of the Benedictus and the normally joyous sounds of the ‘Osanna’, the word ‘Dominus’ appearing in the tenor while other voices have begun the ‘Osanna’. Most recordings I know (with the exception of the peerless Hilliard Consort – Warner, 5/85) change gear at that point and build in rather too sudden a crescendo so that everything ends joyfully. Here Jeremy Filsell just allows the gentle sounds and the gentle tempo to continue, resulting in a quietly ecstatic end to the movement. It works marvellously. (My own solution would be to suggest a misprint in the music and put the word ‘Osanna’ in the tenor at that moment, where the new point of imitation begins; but the widely held assumption that all ‘Osannas’ need to be jolly seems to me something worth resisting.)


Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
Livraison mondiale


Choose your country and currency
when reaching
Presto Classical
Worldwide delivery


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews