Leading performers of 17th-century music Fretwork, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts and the Magdalena Consort (directed by Peter Harvey) combine forces under the artistic direction of William Hunt for this rst complete recording of the consort anthems of Orlando Gibbons.
Gibbons’ music is one of the artistic glories of the rst Stuart reign. Amongst his sacred compositions, verse anthems such as is is the record of John and Behold, thou hast made my days are long acknowledged masterpieces, amongst the greatest in all English sacred music, but best known to most in their setting for choir and organ. Here they are presented together with an array of other great anthems, some of them scarcely known, in their more intricate and colourful versions for consort accompaniment.
Following the instruction of such contemporary writers as Morley and Caccini, these radical new performances place communication of text at the forefront, seeking to rediscover the dramatic essence of the verse anthem that made it arguably the most effective musical creation of the English Reformation. With the incisive declamatory skill of several of the UK’s leading period performers, they reveal the extraordinary rhetorical and poetic power of this music, as it might have been heard in the Chapel Royal and the private domestic chapels of early 17th century England.
★★★★★ Subtle, seductively supple and sinuous singing and playing… Volume 2 from this dream-team will be eagerly awaited – Choir and Organ
★★★★★ This is the finest recording of this quintessentially English music that we are likely to have… a real treat, and an impressive master-class in how these texts should be declaimed – Early Music Review
Gibbons at his most alluring: a glorious fusion of the intimate and ceremonial in richly-voiced, warmhearted performances – BBC Radio 3
Thomas Morley’s lovely phrase evoking music’s ability to link earthly listeners to heavenly contemplation – The Times
The effect, in the three In nomines recorded here, is of uncanny beauty, familiar notes polished up to a new sheen and lustre – Gramophone