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American Record Guide: (01/2019) 
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Reviewer: Charles Brewer


Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars continue their progress through the Josquin masses with two very different works, the early Ami Baudichon Mass, based on a somewhat baudy popular tune, and the middle-period Gaudeamus Mass, based on a significant introit melody as Willem Elder and Peter Phillips have suggested, the version associated with the Feast of All Saints was more likely a factor in Josquin’s conception of this work. Thus it seems a bit inappropriate to sing the Marian version of the introit before the Mass on this recording. As in the earlier releases of this series (J/F 1990, J/A 2008, M/A 2012, M/A 2017), the general quality of this performance is not in doubt. In both Masses, the three singers on the tenor always allow the cantus firmus to be clearly heard in the midst of Josquin’s polyphony. As in their earlier releases, the choral sound of the Tallis Scholars is very “English” and treble dominant; the basses could have been more prominent. The interpretat-ion of the Ami Baudichon Mass seems a bit sedate for the tune, which, as the booklet notes, is similar to ‘Three Blind Mice’. The earlier recording by Capella Alamire is only slightly faster (S/O 1995), but neither recording seems to capture its dance-like character. There are more comparisons for the Gaudeamus Mass. While Bourbon’s interpretation (M/J 2014) is better than the 1998 release by A Sei Voci (J/A 1998), which I find a bit sloppy, it is eclipsed by the clarity and ensemble of De Labyrintho (J/A 2006). The Tallis Scholars in comparison to De Labyrintho seem to soften the rhythms and, as in their interpretation of L’ami Baudichon, miss some of the vitality of Josquin’s counterpoint. If you appreciate the approach to Josquin taken by Phillips and the Tallis Scholars, this new release will be a welcome addition. As always, the booklet is informative and even includes the music for both the ‘Gaudeamus omnes’ introit and the ‘L’ami Baudichon’ tune (with the rude word in brackets, since it was left out of the only copy of the complete text). While the texts and translations for the introit and Mass are included, the translation for the song is not (it was also omitted on the Capella Alamire recording).

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