Walter Lambe: Nesciens mater a 5
William, Monk of Stratford: Magnificat a 4
Plainchant: Nesciens mater
Richard Davy: St. Matthew Passion [27:11-56] a 4
John Browne: Stabat mater a 6
Hugh Kellyk: Magnificat a 5
Robert Wylkynson: Jesus autem transiens
TONUS PEREGRINUS: Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, Rebecca Hickey, Lisa Beckley (Sopranos), Kathryn Knight, Alexander L’Estrange (Altos), Richard Eteson, Benedict Hymas, Matthew Long, Alexander Hickey (Tenors), Alex Knight (Baritone), Francis Brett, Nick Flower, Stephen Rice (Bass), Antony Pitts (Tenor and Director)
Recording: St. Alban the Martyr, Holborn, London, UK (July 11-14, 2011) – 79’
Naxos # 8.572840 – Booklet in English
The Eton Choirbook is one of three sacred music manuscripts to have survived the Reformation in England including motets, Magnificats and one Passion. Diminished in size during these tumultuous times, it nonetheless, provides copious options for Antony Pitts to draw upon for this astounding Naxos recording. Growing up with music at an early age, Antony Pitts excelled, receiving distinguished honors while residing at New College at Oxford University. It is here in 1990 that he established the TONUS PEREGRINUS, a twelve member ensemble firmly dedicated to interpreting sacred music ranging from the Dark Ages to modern times. TONUS PEREGRINUS, literally translated as “wandering tones”, is a simplified term in describing the group, but it goes far beyond these mere words.
A handful of pre-Reformation composers are well represented on this CD that colorfully displays the techniques of early Tudor polyphony. The music is richly captivating, breathtaking and inspirational. Antony Pitts has made a punctilious choosing in all vocal ranges to provide a broader, more emboldened and fully developed interpretation of the music.
Acoustics are phenomenal. There is a nicely tempered resonance which ends each of the pieces, bringing forth an enlightened, ethereal atmosphere. It’s as though one is being lifted up to the heavens! Bravo, beautiful and brilliant!