Few ensembles are as difficult to write about as the incomparable Tallis Scholars. Inevitably, you just string together an array of superlatives and hope that other reviewers haven't gushed about the same attributes using the same words in precisely the same order. The ensemble's recording of the Christmas Mass and the antiphon Ave Dei patris filia marks both its fourth recording of works by Renaissance master Thomas Tallis and one of Gimell's last albums to be made during an unhappy affiliation with Universal Classics. (The label has since reverted to independent status, distributed in the United States by Harmonia Mundi.) As has been the case with other Tallis Scholars projects, the singers have rediscovered missing manuscripts and have put together the first modern performance editions of both of these works. Their complete mastery of their chosen subject, combining keen scholarship and transcendent beauty, makes this a radiant recording. The clarity and luminescent tone that conductor Peter Phillips achieves with his singers are simply superb. The recording, made at their frequent locale of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Norfolk, is a faithful one–but don't miss any opportunity to hear them live.
2010's mammoth, highly collectible and very limited, 19-disc Sandy Denny box set was truly a thing to behold, presenting the entirety of her career from studio to stage to front porch. It was a completist's dream, but it came with an exceptionally high price tag, which makes the appearance of 2011's Notes and the Words: A Collection of Demos and Rarities a real gift for fans, especially those who already own the complete studio recordings, whether solo or with Fotheringay, Strawbs, or Fairport Convention. The handsome, limited-edition four-disc box skims the cream from the top of the myriad rarities, BBC sessions, demos, and outtakes that made the previous collection so remarkable (an intimate bedroom recording of Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Run the Game"; an early demo of Like an Old Fashioned Waltz's "Carnival" with previously unheard melodies and lyrics; a blistering alternate studio take of a Dave Swarbrick-less "Sailor's Life," and alternate versions of Fairport classics like "Matty Groves," "Come All Ye," and "Fotheringay"), resulting in a wonderful window into one of English folk music's most magnificent voices.
The Complete Studio Collection. All eight studio albums from 1981’s ‘Face Value’ to 2010’s ‘Going Back’ in one Box Set for the first time on CD. After an incredible comeback in 2016 that included a #2 charting compilation album, 300,000 catalogue sales, sold-out shows at the Royal Albert Hall and a headline slot at British Summer Time; Rhino looks to round out a hugely successful catalogue campaign with a new Complete Studio Collection the brings together all eight of Phil Collins’ albums for the first time. The set includes all eight studio albums from 1981’s ‘Face Value’ to 2010’s ‘Going Back’ – five of which were UK #1. This CD slipcase box features mini gatefold wallets and the remastered music from last year’s re-issue campaign.