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Best O/T Renaissance [Classical, Best of]

Tallis Scholars Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 104.90
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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Miserere
2. Spem In Alium
3. Mass For Five Voices: Kyrie
4. Mass For Five Voices: Gloria
5. Mass For Five Voices: Credo
6. Mass For Five Voices: Sanctus - Benedictus
7. Mass For Five Voicesd: Agnus Dei
8. Missa 'Pange lingua': Kyrie
9. Missa 'Pange lingua': Gloria
10. Missa 'Pange lingua': Credo
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Tenebrac Responsories For Holy Saturday: Recessit pastor noster
2. Tenebrac Responsories For Holy Saturday: O vos omnes
3. Tenebrac Responsories For Holy Saturday: Ecce quomodo moritur justus
4. Missa Papae Marcelli: Kyrie
5. Missa Papae Marcelli: Gloria
6. Missa Papae Marcelli: Credo
7. Missa Papae Marcelli: Sanctus - Benedictus
8. Missa Papae Marcelli: Agnus Dei I - II - III
9. Osculetur me
10. Salve Regina
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Product Description


As hateful and usually untrue as most "Best of" collections are, this one is the real thing. You actually do get two hours and 20 minutes of Renaissance music performed so exquisitely, so correctly, and so passionately that it's as if an entire era in music makes itself understood through these CDs. The Tallis Scholars are as good as it gets in this repertoire. In addition to getting Allegri's gorgeous Miserere, you'll find Thomas Tallis's 40-part (40!) Spem in alium, some wonderfully weird and dissonant Responsories by Gesualdo, Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli (the "how-to" piece of the Renaissance popes, who demanded that the words be understood), and various other works. This stuff is like a finely woven tapestry and should be listened to bits at a time--it's amazingly rich and worth it. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Prayer Music Feb. 6 2004
I perchased this cd and am truly truly glad I did. The sound makes me want to get somewhere and just cry out to God in joy, praise and reverence. The music is so peaceful pious (in a good way). Absolutely beautifuly executed. All the singers are with one accord-- and a great chord at that! Ye must needs purchase this cd!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some great Renaissance choral music Feb. 1 2004
When I recently played the first disk of this collection in the small bookstore/café where I work, a customer told me she had been trying to read but couldn't because she was so captivated by this CD's sublime music.
Although I am a sort of purist who hates when people say they listen to classical music just to relax, I find this CD set is perfect for inspiring reflection and relaxation. So, if you're looking for good music to relax to, this would be an excellent purchase.
The same goes if you're looking for some great Renaissance music. However, the term "Best of the Renaissance" may be a bit of a misnomer; the CD does not include a vast array of music from the said era. This collection is solely /a cappella/ music. Perhaps a more fitting title would be "The Best of Renaissance Choral Music." If you're looking for a broad sampling of music from this time period in one CD collection, this may not be for you. Nevertheless, if you want well performed choral music by some great composers, I recommend this CD to both Renaissance neophytes and aficionados without reservation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but overpraised Dec 29 2003
The Best of the Renaissance is certainly worth buying if only for the amazing "Spem in Alium" by Thomas Tallis.Nevertheless, I do not share the boundless enthusiasm of other reviewers for this album.
To begin with, three Masses are featured on this album,two on the first cd. That is too much to my liking. And while the Mass Pange Lingua by Desprez is undoubtedly a wonderful piece, the other masses are not the best: the Mass for five voices by Byrd, while very beautiful, lacks the depth, emotion and intimacy of his Mass for three voices. The Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina is brilliant but nothing more than an academic exercise in virtuosity.
And I definitely do not appreciate Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday. This is simply very mediocre music that nobody would care for if it did not sound modern in its cerebral ugliness and thereby flatter our infatuation with ourselves.
I recommend "The Essential Tallis Scholars" either instead of or in addition to "The Best of the Renaissance", depending on your pocket and interest for Renaissance choral music. I would also recommend O Magnum Mysterium by the Robert Shaw festival singers. Although only a third of that album is devoted to Renaissance music, the interpretation is so beautiful and spiritual that it is really worth having in your Renaissance music collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best 'Miserere' ever May 14 2002
Many CDs bearing the title "the best of..." contain a hit or two and other works are there to fill the space in between without raising the costs too much. But not this one. Apart from the historically famous recording of Misere by the Tallis Scholars, the two CDs contain a number of other equally beautiful works, i.e. by the stunning and intriguing Gesualdo. Ceratinly good value.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Total Espiritual Expperience Sept. 8 2001
Wau, buy it, don't think about anything else. Just by it and feel a very deep emotion a kind of espiritual becoming. It's one of the bests recordings about reinacence. Please sorry about my gramar but I'm not american. Try it. Maybe your going tu discover thisngs in yourself you havent realised.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I could ask for. July 14 2001
I love these pieces. Speaking as one who sings such pieces, Tallis's Spem in Alium is one of a kind. 8 five voice choirs woven seamlessly together (that's what Spem in Alium is) - well, the very idea is impressive; a performance like this one makes it sublime. The three masses are a big plus, too. It's interesting to hear the progression from Gregorian-esque chant and Perotin-like polyphony to later works. I love both extremes and everything in between. Another bonus is that free sheet music ([...]) is available for many of the tracks, which is nice if you, like me, would just as soon sing your part as listen.
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