Tallis: Ave, rosa sine spinis

by Musicweb International (Musicweb International - 10 June 2015)

“The singing is as excellent as we’ve come to expect from this ensemble …” (Musicweb International)

“This very enjoyable series continues its sequence of motets and hymns, with a Mass as the centrepiece – this time the setting for four voices, the most direct and pared down of Tallis’s output. The Mass is a world away from the votive antiphon, exemplified here by the early Ave, rosa sine spinis. A touch formulaic in places, it is nonetheless worth hearing, for it shows off the ensemble’s more athletic side. For the rest, there are splendid performances here: with O salutaris hostia, Laudate Dominum and Euge caeli porta the composer is in his essential idiom, to which the Cardinall’s Musick respond with poise and precision, and they are equally at home in the settings from Archbishop Parker’s Psalter, where a forthright unanimity is required. A very welcome issue, then; and it’s always nice to know that there’s more to come.” (Fabrice Fitch, Gramophone magazine, January 2015)