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Musicweb
In his review of this recording, John Quinn found himself at a loss for words: between us we seem to have used up all the superlatives in earlier reviews of The Tallis Scholars, live and on record.
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EarlyMusicReview.com
Tuning, ensemble and overall shaping are as good as it gets. Highly recommended!
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The Sunday Times
The Missa di Dadi owes its name to the depiction of dice ("dadi") before each section, showing how the cantus firmus should be interpreted. The Missa Une mousse de Biscaye is based on a song where a French boy and a Basque girl (the "mousse") are engaged in baffling dialogue. The Tallis Scholars' accounts of these devout, elegant works are beautifully blended and paced.
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Gramophone
Now that I have heard this wonderful recording I am almost ready to rethink the whole thing.
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theartsdesk.com
The Tallis Scholars sing flawlessly on this latest volume in an ongoing Josquin series.
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The Financial Times
Take a roll of the dice and find the starting point for a new mass. It seems unlikely?
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BBC Music Magazine
The small choir of eight voices (females on the top line) is nicely controlled so that the moments of exultation have real impact.
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Andrew Benson-Wilson
... they are both fascinating pieces, not just for the music but for the background to their composition. As their titles suggest they involve gambling, the throw of the dice, and the seduction of a young lady from Biscay.
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MusicWeb
Whilst it’s a delight to hear these Josquin Masses the series does pose a problem to a reviewer. So consistent is the quality of both the music and the performances that one finds it increasingly hard to find anything new to say.
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Presto Classical Newsletter
two beautifully constructed, originally conceived and flawlessly performed masses that unveil layer after layer of their intricate part-writing with each listening
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damn near perfection


01 December 2016
Early Music Today
Andrew Green

Why bother to review a new recording from The Tallis Scholars? You know just what you'll find - damn near perfection (how startling is any tiny blemish!) in tuning, balance, phrasing, blend, pacing, dynamic range - and anything else you care to mention.

Well, for one thing, maintaining such quality can never be taken for granted. Meeting expectations, not least in complex and demanding repertoire such as this, is immensely taxing. Reputation brings pressure. More than that, this latest volume in the Tallis Scholars' survey of the Josquin Masses adds to the accumulation of evidence demonstrating in modern times what the composer's contemporaries knew only too well: that here was a genius.

Yes, these are early works - the Missa Une mousse de Biscaye may be the first of Josquin's Masses, from the mid-1470s. Yet the stamp of mastery is unmistakeable. Yes, at times the music is austere and cerebral - more singers' than listeners' music. But then come such blazes of sound as in the Crucifixus of the Missa Di Dadi to send the senses spinning.

Both works have intriguing secular backgrounds - the Missa Di dadi apparently reflecting the love of the dice enjoyed by one of Josquin's several employers, the Duke of Milan; the Missa Une mousse de Biscaye based on a tune reflecting the confusion when two lovers - one French, the other Basque - can't communicate. Given time and space, it's music that draws the listener in, 'killing care and grief of heart'.

Reproduced from Early Music Today Magazine






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