14 Dec 2016

Classics Reconsidered

Caroline Gill and Edward Breen discuss the merits of The Tallis Scholars’ Gramophone Award-winning recording of Josquin’s Missa Pange lingua.

The Tallis Scholars sing Josquin
The Tallis Scholars

Edward Breen: I first heard this recording on a chrome cassette (remember them?) that I bought from a cathedral gift shop when I was about 12 years old. At that time I had no particular idea who Josquin was, but as a choirboy I’d noticed that my favourite music was in The Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems, and so I was mistakenly drawn to this recording by the name Tallis rather than anything else. Thankfully, I loved it and soon wore the tape out by repeatedly winding back and forth to rehear the ‘Pleni sunt caeli’ duet (much to the relief of my parents, who by default listened to Bob Dylan in the car). Considering how little unaccompanied Renaissance polyphony had lodged in the public subconscious at that time, I wonder how many others discovered Josquin or even just the sound of professional early music vocalists through this groundbreaking Gramophone Award winner?

To read the full text of this article please visit www.gramophone.co.uk (December 2016)