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Goldberg Magazine # 45 (04/2007)
Goldberg a cessť de publier avec le # 54
Goldberg is no longer available. # 54 was the last issue.


When it comes to rating CDs, a special category should be reserved for those that are truly outstanding. Such recordings are few and far between, as are works of art in general. This CD from the Tallis Scholars belongs to precisely that category, as I am sure anyone who has heard the album before reading this review would agree.

The CD is exceptional, partly due to the long experience of this British ensemble founded in 1973 by its present musical director, Peter Phillips. The repertoire, which includes the Miserere by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652) and the Misaa Papae Marcelli, the motet Tu es Petrus and the imposing Stabat mater by Palestrina (c.1525-1594), is the one most often performed by the group (on more than three hundred occasions, in the case of the Miserere), and that is not only because of the extraordinary quality of the compositions, but because The Tallis Scholars have established themselves as the ideal exponents of these works. The difference between a good performance and an exceptional one lies in the aesthetic impact and emotion Ė of whatever complexion - that it generates, and I think it is safe to say that nobody who listens to this recording can fail to be moved by its disturbing beauty.

Particularly fine is the performance of Allegriís Miserere, of which two versions are offered. The first follows the original score, while the second is ornamented in the tradition of the singers of the Papal Chapel who, for more than a century, were the sole performers of the work.