Tallis recording is style over substance

Graham O’Reilly guides the Ensemble William Byrd with to a well played performance of Tallis' works that's short on substance

Composer: Tallis
Repertoire: Gaude gloriosa; Salve intemerata, et al.
Artists: Ensemble William Byrd/Graham O’Reilly
Rating:  3/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Passacaille 963

According to O’Reilly, music was Tallis’s ‘secret garden’, home to public display and private expression. His album presents a more concrete historical interpretation of the composer’s output, in which grand Latin sacred choral works are performed by nine singers. The deal reflects recent research into clandestine Catholic worship in Elizabeth I’s England and puts worthy scholarship into practice. The approach works in terms of performance quality, but Gaude gloriosa and Salve intemerata, sound short of tonal substance.