The Voice of the Turtle Dove – Sheppard: Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria; Libera nos I & II; In manus tuas I & III; Mundy: Adolescentulus sum ego; Vox partis caelestis; Davy: O Domine caeli terraeque creator; Ah, mine heart, remember the well
Reviewed on Fri 18 Apr, 2014
Billed as a return to their 'grass-roots', this album might just be an opportunity for Harry Christophers and The Sixteen quickly to build sales for their own Coro label. But, frankly, who's complaining? Way back in the early 1980s, Christophers and his brilliant team recorded five albums of John Sheppard’s contemplative music alone, so hardly surprising that this composer’s plainchant-infused settings of 'Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria' and 'Libera nos, salva nos' are central here. By contrast, William Mundy’s gloriously, richly scored 'Vox patris caelestis' closes the album in grand style. Along the way is the joy of discovering, inter alia, the obscure Richard Davy’s 'O Domine caeli terraeque creator' – with its arresting opening 'O' and its remarkably variegated textures – which he apparently composed in a single day. So, an album of The Sixteen singing sixteenth-century English music by Davy, Sheppard and Mundy – really, what’s not to like?