Early Music Today
December 2010

Following their outstanding debut recording of polyphony by Robert White, Gallicantus have collected music in response to the death in 1612 of Prince Henry of Wales, a popular figure and generous patron of the arts. The settings of King David’s laments present the bleakest music on the disc, and the impeccable tuning and rich sound (wonderful at the polyphony’s intended lower pitch, and superbly recorded) of this tight-knit ensemble reinforce the profundity undoubtedly felt by those composers. The polyphony is broken up by lute-songs performed by members of the ensemble and accompanied by the ever- excellent Elizabeth Kenny—perhaps most effective in its restrained grief is Thomas Vautor’s duet ‘Melpomene, bewail’, beautifully sung by Mark Chambers and Claire Wilkinson. This is a perfect selection of the vast outpouring of grief in both sacred and secular music provoked by Prince Henry’s death, lovingly and movingly performed.