CLASSICAL: IN CONCERT THE TALLIS SCHOLARS / PETER PHILLIPS St John's, Smith Square THE SIXTEEN / HARRY CHRISTOPHERS St John's, Smith Square London

By Northcott, Bayan | The Independent (London, England), December 27, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

CLASSICAL: IN CONCERT THE TALLIS SCHOLARS / PETER PHILLIPS St John's, Smith Square THE SIXTEEN / HARRY CHRISTOPHERS St John's, Smith Square London


Northcott, Bayan, The Independent (London, England)


When one is confronted by two of our most highly praised and much- recorded choral groups, both excelling in 16th-century repertoire on successive evenings at the same venue, the urge to compare and contrast is difficult to resist. And to suggest that The Tallis Scholars are the more consistently purist in their approach, while The Sixteen are more luxuriantly various, would be no more than to hint at the differences.

No doubt it is a tribute to the vision of Peter Phillips that the core line-up of his Tallis Scholars has remained so faithful since he founded them almost 30 years ago. Their principal virtues have always been precision of intonation and absolute clarity of texture - rarely more than two voices to a part - together with a penchant for crisp articulation, high pitch and fastish tempos. The downside of this approach is that bass-lines can sometimes sound lightweight, and the unfolding of pieces a bit matter- of-fact.

In a characteristic programme comprising large slabs of Tudor polyphony, one felt, for instance, that the textural contrasts at the start of the Gloria of Byrd's Mass in Four Parts went unpointed, though the poignant concluding "Dona Nobis Pacem" was the more plangent for its restraint.

Where Phillips has confined himself strictly to choral music from between 1450 and 1650 - the odd John Tavener disc aside - The Sixteen, under their founder Harry Christophers, have ranged far more widely, and their programme was a more frankly seasonal affair, with carols ranging from the late Middle Ages to the early 19th century, and the snappy addition of a period- instrument consort.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

CLASSICAL: IN CONCERT THE TALLIS SCHOLARS / PETER PHILLIPS St John's, Smith Square THE SIXTEEN / HARRY CHRISTOPHERS St John's, Smith Square London
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?