The Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge explores the fascinating relationship between 16th and early 20th-century music as understood by the pioneers of the Tudor revival in England.
Centred on Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices – revelatory and inspirational listening for a whole host of composers – this mosaic of reworkings, reimaginings and lovingly-crafted homages is brought to life with all the scholarly acumen and full-throated fervour that are the hallmarks of one of Britain’s finest choirs.
Caius College Choir is one of the UK's leading collegiate choirs. The 23 singers and two organ scholars, under the direction of Dr Geoffrey Webber, perform a wide range of sacred and secular choral music ranging from the 14th century to the present day.
The day-to-day activities of the choir revolve around Caius Chapel which is probably the oldest purpose-built college chapel in Cambridge still in use.
1st July 2012
“As concept albums go this is interesting, juxtaposing William Byrd's great five-part mass with a range of 20th-century British works that draw on Tudor sources...The later works feel more idiomatically sung than the Byrd, which is too ample, but the sonorously rich sound of the recording will appeal to all choral music enthusiasts.”
21st July 2012
“the Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, sounds responsive and light in texture. The contours of this music might be Tudor, but the autumnal sensibility is pure Late Romantic.”
“This is a brilliantly conceived disc...under Geoffrey Webber's sure direction [the choir] clearly relishes every moment with both precision and passion. The contributions of the organists Annie Lydford and Nick Lee is on a similar level. Highly recommended.”
Awards Issue 2012
“It is the juxtaposition of the familiar and the unfamiliar that makes [the disc] fascinating...The mixed-voice Caius choir, recorded in the chapel of Worksop College, is quite admirable, as is the playing of the two organ scholars. All praise to Webber for planning, execution and a model booklet-note.”
“Byrd's Mass for Five Voices...[is] given an incisive, warmly blended performance by the mixed voices of the Gonville & Caius Choir...Is there occasionally a touch too much extroversion in these performances? Possibly, but so much warmth and positivity is communicated it would be ridiculous to object.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.