Album: Armonico Consort, Naked Byrd Two (Signum Classics)

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The Independent Culture

This splendid second volume in the Armonico Consort's Naked Byrd series continues the punning tradition of a cappella versions of choral pieces by composers who, in the words of the Consort's artistic director Christopher Monks, "wore their hearts on their sleeves".

Thus alongside the familiar repertoire of period religious works ranging from William Byrd to Hildegard of Bingen can be found more recent compositions by John Tavener and the Consort's own Jonathan Roberts, both of whom contribute moving pieces based around texts by William Blake. But perhaps most moving of all is the "Agnes Dei" section of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, re-scored by the composer for eight-part harmonies.

DOWNLOAD THIS Agnes Dei; The Spirit of Tallis; Funeral Ikos; Vivificans