Tallis Scholars' Victoria secret

The Tallis Scholars conducted by Peter Phillips temper Victoria's fierce mysticism with a vivid sense of time and place

Composer: Victoria
Repertoire:  Lamentations of Jeremiah
Artists: The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips
Rating:  4.5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: Gimell CDGIM 043

Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria, Peter Phillips says, exhibits a ‘fierceness coupled to a mysticism’ that was unique to Spanish polyphonic choral writing of the 16th century. His Lamentations of Jeremiah date from around 1585 and were originally meant to be experienced over three days during Holy Week but, as Phillips continues to explain, their structural cohesiveness makes them ideal for recording. Impressively, The Tallis Scholars neuter their Englishness and what might be overly sparse and austere choral textures are embedded with a vivid sense of time and place that reveals the music to be a sequence of emotional cliff-hangers.