CD: The Road to Paradise, Gabrieli Consort/ McCreesh

(Deutsche Grammophon)

Two years ago, the Gabrieli Consort gave a series of concerts along the pilgrims' way to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, performing in the great cathedrals and chapels dotted along the route. For this disc Paul McCreesh has created an English version of such a musical pilgrimage, drawing not only on some of the masterpieces of Tudor polyphony by Tallis, Byrd, Parsons, Sheppard, but also including 20th-century pieces by Britten, Bennett, Tavener, Holst, Harris and Howells. It's a beautifully realised sequence, framed by plainchant and a tolling bell, which begins with Tallis's tiny motet Miserere Nostri Domine, and ends with Herbert Howells' Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing. The most substantial work is John Sheppard's elaborate six-voice Media Vita in Morte Sumus, wonderfully sung by the mixed voices of the Gabrieli Consort. Every performance is beautifully conceived and recorded in an acoustic that gives enough churchy resonance without obscuring the detail.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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