Tallis Scholars Shine in Music Inspired by The Sistine Chapel

"Whether you are religious or not, this program of Renaissance polyphony sung by The Tallis Scholars was nothing short of heavenly."

James Roy MacBean, Berkeley Daily Planet
The Critics' Choice 2018: our favourite recordings of the year

"I am a long-time admirer of The Tallis Scholars, and their clean, purposeful sound is often my touchstone for Renaissance polyphony. With this latest release in their grand survey of Josquin’s masses they sing with elegant poise while responding to the extraordinary intricacy and expressivity of Josquin’s textures."

Edward Breen, Gramophone
Tallis Scholars Premiere Nico Muhly in Midtown

"From seemingly effortless floating high notes to sonorous bass singing, with tons of deftly rendered imitative passages in the inner voices, the group made a glorious sound."

Christian Carey, Sequenza 21
Review: The Tallis Scholars

"The capacity crowd hearing the Tallis Scholars’ 'A Renaissance Christmas,' a collection of 15th- and 16th-century pieces by Giovanni Palestrina, Hieronymus Praetorius, William Byrd and John Nesbett, had, as one of those attending remarked after the program, 'an extraordinary experience' – a two-hour immersion in music that, on grand and intimate scales, was crafted to transport the listener."

Clarke Bustard, Letter V
Palestrina, Praetorius & a premiere

"In 'A Renaissance Christmas,' the Tallis Scholars, the shepherds of Renaissance polyphony, gathered together centuries of the musical tradition, from the first 'Magnificat' to the last days of the Scott expedition, from Palestrina’s polyphony to Muhly’s minimalism. They made it seem as simple as breathing."

Hannah Niemeier, New Criterion
Last Night of the Proms 2018 review: An anti-Brexit evening with singalongs

"The late prom which followed saw the Tallis Scholars singing music by Part, Hildegard of Bingen, and Thomas Tallis to a packed hall in hushed silence."

Michael Church, The Independent (UK)
Tallis Scholars at the Bella an unforgettable night of the sublime

"This was only the second Tallis Scholars appearance in Calgary in nearly 30 years but the wait was well worth it. They sang exquisitely, every millisecond of music perfectly crafted and every sonority a nuanced world unto its own."

Stephan Bonfield, Calgary Herald
Tallis Scholars in “War and Peace” at the Cleveland Museum of Art

"The Tallis Scholars have been at the top of their profession since the group was founded in 1973, and the ten artists who visited Cleveland this month continue their long tradition of perfectly blended, tonally focused, wonderfully tuned singing."

Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical
The Tallis Scholars, Phillips, Cadogan Hall review - intimacy in late Renaissance music

"Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars have nothing to prove when it comes to Renaissance choral music – few ensembles can match them for clarity, balance and purity of tone. They are perfect guides, then, for this tour of the late Italian Renaissance, an era, as they demonstrate, of surprising musical variety and fast-changing tastes."

Gavin Dixon,
Tallis Scholars review: Enlightening and enthralling

"So let me join the crowd by acclaiming their most recent Portland concert on April 4 (their sixth, always in St. Mary’s Cathedral) as superbly sung, brilliantly interpreted, and carefully programmed.

"Heard in person, their sound, always impeccable on recordings, takes on added luster and range of volume. It’s always a fresh thrill to hear these ten singers rise from a whisper to a fortissimo; it’s a big sound, made possible by fine voices but especially by the cohesion of the singers, who are absolutely in synch with one another and therefore project a united sonic product that twice or six times as many singers in a less 'together' choir would not be able to muster."

Terry Ross, Oregon Arts Watch
The Tallis Scholars mesmerize audience with sublime concert

"The Tallis Scholars produced an astonishing clarity of sound with excellent diction, pinpoint pitch control, outstanding dynamic range, no vibrato, and a warmth of resonance and color. The group’s sound was astounding to experience."

James Bash, Northwest Reverb
Tallis Scholars soar at Cathedral Basilica

"Phillips and his choir may be the best at this repertoire in the world, giving a practically flawless performance; every singer — and every choir director — in town should have been there. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another decade to get them back to St. Louis."


Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Missa Di dadi

"The group released the sixth volume of the set a few weeks ago on Gimell Records, its private label, and it continues to be authoritative.... Both pieces receive detailed, balanced performances on this disc, with intonation and blend, within each section and across the choir, up to the Tallis Scholars’ incomparable standards."

Charles T. Downey, Washington Post
Tallis Scholars Arrange Vocal Bouquet

"The group immediately delivered the clean counterpoint and rich, beautifully blended homophony for which they have maintained their fame for four decades.... As an exercise in sheer tonal beauty, the Tallis Scholars’ work remains consistently unparalleled, the finest in the world, and filling St. Paul’s with a heady, intoxicating sound."

James C.S. Liu, Boston Musical Intelligencer
Tallis Scholars offers gems and world-class singing

"The Tallis Scholars ... are one of the world’s premier vocal ensembles."

Robert Battey, Washington Post
The Tallis Scholars

"The Tallis Scholars vocal ensemble seems to have a direct line to heaven inspiring reverence for the power of the human vocal chords to echo spiritual realms."

Stephanie Johnson, Australian Stage
Tallis Scholars review: A night of remarkable iridescence and intensity

"The Tallis Scholars, under founder and director Peter Phillips, have developed and – in brief and shining moments – perfected a distinctive and emblematic sound that has become so closely associated with English renaissance music that is easy to forget there is any other way of approaching it.

"The tone has pristine clarity, balance and purity with extremely lean use of vibrato. The resulting blend has an edge of brightly focused resonance that is flexible enough to adapt to the music's interweaving undulations in a way that is responsive and lithe."

Peter McCallum, The Canberra Times
Tallis Scholars’ Lamentations: divinely inspired voices rise up to quell doubt

"Rip the ceiling off the concert hall and let the musical light of heaven shine in, the Tallis Scholars are back and it’s two-to-a-part Renaissance polyphony showtime."

Martin Buzacott, The Australian
The Tallis Scholars: Josquin's Missa Di dadi

"The Tallis Scholars’ enunciation of the text of both masses is characteristically precise and clear.... Long vocal lines are effortlessly spun, and individual parts come together to form strikingly plush bodies of sound."

Claire Seymour, Opera Now
Classical CDs Weekly: Josquin, Mozart, Set in Stone

"The Tallis Scholars sing flawlessly on this latest volume in an ongoing Josquin series. Impeccable intonation allows us to appreciate the composer’s harmonic boldness."

Graham Rickson,
Josquin: Masses — review

"The Tallis Scholars and Peter Phillips are brilliant on the latest in the series of recordings.... Honed over 30 years or more, their singing of Josquin is second to none."

Richard Fairman, Financial Times
The Tallis Scholars Review- Sacred Choral Music at it's Best

"The music that swells and ascends from the Tallis Scholars, all cled in black, led by the strong but gentle baton of Phillips, is rich and complex beyond measure. Certainly their voices blend beautifully as they sing hymns of praise, adoration, loss and devotion, but the multiple parts and melodies create an ambience of many special parts coalescing, not simply a single melodic thread. The evening of the concert, they seemed to produce- not the somber tolling of Gregorian chants- but the very music of the spheres, as the glorious sounds seemingly reached up beyond the dome of the fine old church almost to the very vaults of heaven, which is, of course, where they were directed. This reviewer felt as though there were an entire orchestra on that altar!"

Debra Davy, Splash Magazine (Chicago)
Blend of old and new in mesmerizing holiday program

"A good early-music ensemble like the Tallis Scholars is a testament to the vitality of creativity and a reminder that centuries-old music can still connect with audiences in powerful ways.

"All of the Tallis Scholars displayed, of course, consummate musicianship, but the four sopranos, Amy Haworth, Emma Walshe, Emily Atkinson, and Molly Alexander, stood out as being absolutely accurate in the execution of their lines, with a glorious consistency rarely seen at even the highest level of the performance world, an upper echelon that the Tallis Scholars rightly inhabit."

Christopher Gage, KC Metropolis
The Tallis Scholars sing Advent’s praises

"For over four decades, the 10-voice ensemble has practiced exceptional musical precision, interpretive deference, and dramatic subtlety, qualities that suffused a program drawing a line from Advent through Christmas and beyond."

Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe
Tallis Tells of a Birth

"Straight tone and precise intonation, in which the Tallis Scholars excel, enabled these thickened textures to ring out with penetrating clarity."

Virginia Newes, Boston Musical Intelligencer
Tallis Scholars gives contemplative polish to Renaissance, modern works

"The Tallis Scholars offered meditative repose at their concert at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Friday. Presented by the Friends of Chamber Music, this world-famous, highly respected ensemble brought beautifully wrought vocal blend to its concert celebrating Advent and the events surrounding the birth of Christ."

Libby Hanssen, Kansas City Star
Tallis Scholars offer shimmering night of timeless nobility

"The choir brought delicate, blown-glass definition and clarity to Pärt’s Magnificat and his serene motet I am the True Vine, both composed in his trademark tintinnabuli style — literally, 'ringing of bells.' The Scholars gave the contemporary compositions timeless nobility, while making the music of the 16th century feel feel utterly fresh, modern and alive."

Natasha Gauthier, Ottawa Citizen
The Tallis Scholars, Hovering in a Meditative Sphere

"Mr. Philips, who founded the Tallis Scholars in 1973, led a crack a cappella contingent of 10 here, in a program presented by Miller Theater at Columbia University.... these excellent singers performed with superb blend and balance."

James R. Oestreich, New York Times
Tallis Scholars continue to set the standard

"Listening to the recordings of the Tallis Scholars, one may wonder whether the group sounds that good live. The answer is yes, confirmed again during their latest visit to Washington on Thursday as part of the Fortas Chamber Music series at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. As they have done for more than 40 years, Peter Phillips and this British vocal ensemble continue to set the standard for the performance of Renaissance polyphony."

Charles Downey, Washington Post

"The Tallis Scholars celebrated their 2,000th concert this autumn and were justly praised for bringing sacred polyphony out of church and library and on to the world’s concert platforms. Here they present one of the repertoire’s most challenging works, John Taverner’s mass for the Feast of the Crown of Thorns, probably commissioned by Cardinal Wolsey to show off his chapel choir’s particularly fine trebles. They must have been impressive, judging by the dizzyingly high and virtuosic singing of Janet Coxwell and Amy Haworth, who often hover a full angelic octave above the part below." [Five Stars]

Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian
Total: 47 (Viewing: 1–30)