(Gramophone: awards issue - 2006)

Thomas Tallis’s career spanned the dangerous upheaval in the mid-16th century English church: first finding working in a priory in the final years before the dissolution of the monasteries, he died during the very English compromise achieved under Elizabeth.

Recorded during the composer’s 500th anniversary year, Andrew Carwood’s recording of some of Tallis’s most beautiful Latin settings captures the passion and devotion of the period. The Cardinall’s Musick sing with a vibrancy that makes Tallis’s musical feats of skilful audacity sound every bit as surprising and exciting as the would have done half a millennium ago. The monumental Gaude gloriosa takes well deserved centre-stage, but in its entirety this disc is a sublime tribute both to one of England’s greatest composers and to the skill and conviction of one of today’s finest ensembles.