Organists' Review
May 1999

Tallis's Puer nobis mass I some of the landmark works of the English sixteenth century. Written in about the middle of the century, it is a fusion of musical features, some of which looked back to composers from earlier in the century and some of which were thoroughly modern and are found later on in the works of such composers as Robert White. I often find that music for Sarum Rite of Queen Mary's reign is more emotionally affecting than other music from that century, and none more so than Tallis's mass. Everyone should have a recording, and this one is excellent.

I suppose the listener might be forgiven for mistaking Chappelle du Roi for a number of other British mixed-voice early music ensembles, but (for once) this is not through any significant overlap of personnel; I suppose it is more a question of influence. This is not to detract from them—the sound is finely honed and balanced, in the British tradition, and thus very easy on the ear.

The other 'great' work on the disc is the massive votive antiphon 'Gaude gloriosa', and there are also two less familiar motets. I should add that the mass (or its surviving movements—there is no 'Credo')with plainchant appropriate to its cantus firmus, from the third Mass of Christmas; an added bonus. This is wonderful music, wonderfully sung.