Magazine article Gramophone

Byrd's Mass for Five Voices: Three Recordings That Came before Philippe Herreweghe's and How Gramophone Rated Them

Magazine article Gramophone

Byrd's Mass for Five Voices: Three Recordings That Came before Philippe Herreweghe's and How Gramophone Rated Them

Article excerpt

JUNE 1960

Byrd Mass for Five Voices

Choir of King's College, Cambridge / David Willcocks

Argo * ZRG5226 (12in * 30s)

The performance of the Mass is a beautiful example of the sensitive and deeply musical singing that we have come to expect from King's College Choir. There is admirable definition in the individual parts, and an overall blend of tone that comes more from perfect internal matching of tone-colour than from any phoney mike-juggling. I really thought I was in the ante-Chapel, with the flickering candles and the choir just visible through the screen. Willcocks shapes the Mass with great skill and sympathy, bringing out Byrd's logical yet luscious lines to perfection. The boys sing cleanly and with excellent intonation, and the altos and basses are first-rate. Denis Stevens

DECEMBER 1990

Byrd Mass for Five Voices

Christ Church Cathedral Choir / Stephen Darlington

Nimbus [F] NI5237 (52' * DDD * T/t)

Here we have the archetypal English sound and approach--that is, the sound that you might expect to hear today if you stepped inside almost any Anglican cathedral up and down the country, with sweet-toned (if slightly breathy) boys on the top line and countertenors soaring perilously just below them. …

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