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COMPOSERS: Tye/Tallis/Byrd
WORKS: Mass Euge bone; Mass Puer natus est nobis; Mass in Five Parts
PERFORMER: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Philip Ledger
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65211 2 DDD (1982)
King’s College Choir, under its previous conductor Philip Ledger, gives fine, clear performances on this generously filled CD. Within the set forms of the Mass, each composer emerges as an individual: former King’s lay clerk Tye, writing for Mary Tudor, still favouring the clear syllabic settings required under Edward VI; Tallis, witness of the bloodshed of two reigns of religious persecution, weaving the ‘Dona nobis pacem’ in the Agnus Dei into a seemingly never-ending circle; Byrd, with the fervour that stems from belonging to an oppressed minority, underlining the Credo’s ‘et unam sanctam et apostolicam ecclesiam’ – the recusant Catholics’ raison d’être – in punchy block chords. The boys’ voices soar into the famous fan vaulting of King’s College Chapel, only occasionally sounding forced. Janet Banks