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Classical - Released January 30, 2012 | The Sixteen Productions Ltd.

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Classical - Released June 4, 2021 | Coro

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Despite only living until the age of 36, Purcell is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable musical geniuses of all time. The Sixteen continues its exploration of his music written for royalty, illuminating two more of Purcell’s Welcome Songs - Swifter, Isis, swifter flow and The summer’s absence unconcerned we bear. In his music for Nathaniel Lee’s tragedy Theodosius we witness the young Purcell displaying his playhouse wares in strokes of astonishing versatility some ten years before he made a serious impact as a master of music for the stage. © Coro/The Sixteen
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Christmas Music - Released September 25, 2015 | Coro

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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released November 26, 2012 | Coro

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Classical - Released September 27, 2018 | Coro

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The Sixteen, and leader Harry Christophers, have strong-selling, broadly appealing items galore in their catalog, and it is noteworthy to see the group undertake a project with less commercial potential, an ongoing series of music by Palestrina. The series began in the mid-2010s and here reaches its eighth volume. Palestrina is a composer for whom the same few works seem to be recorded over and over, and any complete picture of the classicizing phase of late Renaissance polyphony should include a broader picture of his works. Christophers has made good selections all around (this is not a complete edition of Palestrina, for such a thing would be impractical), and he has tended to arrange his programs according to liturgical use, and the music here is centered on the Easter season, and especially on the "Last Supper." The central Missa fratres ego enim accepi is a parody mass based on the motet of the same name (translated as "Brothers, I have received [from the Lord]"). The motet is also included, although, curiously, not adjacent to the mass. This Easter music tends to have a sparseness that suits the choir size well (there are actually 18 singers, not 16). Sample the Credo of the mass, which approaches its central Incarnatus in a beautifully subtle way. The mass tends to elaborate its motet model melodically rather than polyphonically, and the textures are limpid; in Christophers' performance, the music has its desired intimate quality and seems to breathe. There are also, as in Vol. 7 of this series, three settings from the Song of Songs, an exceptionally interesting part of Palestrina's output in which he attempted to live down his youthful flirtations with secular music. Recommended, fine Eastertime listening. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 1, 2008 | Coro

Admirers of Harry Christophers and his exemplary choral ensemble The Sixteen will no doubt have the highest expectations for this 2008 Coro release of George Frederick Handel's Messiah, especially because the group is almost ideal in size, sonority, and technical mastery to render this work in the best period performance style. Even the most demanding listeners will not be disappointed in this recording because Christophers' scholarship is impeccable, and he leads the performance with sharp Baroque rhythms, brisk tempos, vivid interpretations, and a great flexibility in instrumental combinations, which gives the music greater richness through doublings of the stings with woodwinds and supplies a pleasantly varied basso continuo. The four vocalists -- soprano Carolyn Sampson, alto Catherine Wyn-Rogers, tenor Mark Padmore, and bass Christopher Purves -- are all seasoned Handelians, and their arias are eloquent in expression and beautifully delivered with a tasteful modicum of ornamentation, but no more than that. The most thrilling highpoints are the glorious choruses in which The Sixteen sounds utterly seraphic in its pure tone and pristine in its transparent lines. As if this extraordinary performance of Messiah was not enough to compel purchase, the special edition set includes a bonus CD that offers attractive excerpts from Coro's numerous Handel titles. This set is highly recommended for aficionados of recordings of Messiah and newcomers alike. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 4, 2020 | Coro

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Purcell’s genius abounds throughout the latest volume of The Sixteen’s celebrated exploration of his music for monarchy. Rarely recorded in recent years, Harry Christophers and his award-winning ensemble breathe fresh life into these exquisite works, including two Welcome Songs and one of Purcell’s most famous verse anthems, Rejoice in the Lord alway. © Coro
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Classical - Released September 3, 2012 | Coro

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Saul may not be Handel's most dramatically coherent oratorio, but it is full of moments of high drama, and this recording with Harry Christophers, leading the Sixteen and an outstanding group of soloists, does a terrific job of making those moments throb with vitality. The singers bring an operatic intensity to their roles. Baritone Christopher Purves is a grippingly anguished protagonist, and his voice has plenty of power and authority. Mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly's David is vocally exceptional, a model of dignity and warmth, and her dramatic performance is subtly modulated. As Saul's daughters Merab and Michal, Elizabeth Atherton and Joélle Harvey have clearly differentiated voices and each brings a focused, vibrant soprano to her character. Among the principals, only tenor Robert Murray as Jonathan is disappointing for the unevenness of his vocal production. The chorus of the Sixteen sings with great warmth and energy, and with their characteristic polish and euphonious blend. Christophers draws wonderfully colorful performances from the orchestra, which plays with elegance and style. Frances Kelly's harp solo is especially lovely, and in its dramatic context, deeply moving. The sound of the Coro CD is clean and realistically present. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | Coro

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At their best, The Sixteen and their director Harry Christophers strike an exciting balance between informed historical performance and broad public appeal. The Call of Rome falls into this group, with limpid performances of some Renaissance favorites, including the most favorite of all, the Miserere of Gregorio Allegri. There will be plenty of listeners who will be more than satisfied with this work and with the serene Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday of Tomás Luis de Victoria. Yet there is an innovative side to Christophers' program here. For one thing, he devises a hybrid version of the Miserere, labeled "its evolution": the original version of this mysterious piece was lost, and what is heard now is the product of centuries of reworking according to preference, earnest attempts at reconstruction, and sheer imagination. Christophers ingeniously gives the listener a look into this process, without even using the common version in which the singers ascend to the high C (the final strain heard here includes the C, but comes from a version in use at King's College, Cambridge). More broadly, Christophers and The Sixteen inquire into the role of Rome in the music of the later 16th century, setting two native-born Romans, Allegri and the underrated Felice Anerio, with two composers, Josquin Desprez and Victoria, who felt "the call to Rome." One might object here that the most famous Roman composer of all, Palestrina, might have been included in some way, but the program holds together as it is, and the singing is up to the usual high standard of The Sixteen. The album is a good place to start for those new to The Sixteen and is also worth the time of those familiar with the music of the 16th century. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 31, 2011 | Coro

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Classical - Released February 1, 2019 | Coro

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Handel's Acis and Galatea, short and sweet, has been among his most enduringly popular works. Part of its fascination resides in its generic ambiguity: it may be classified as an oratorio (although its choral elements are sparse), a serenade, a masque, a pastoral, or, perhaps most accurately by Handel himself as "a little opera." The story involves a shepherd, Acis, a kind of goddess-nymph, Galatea, and a rude giant, Polyphemus, who is jealous of the love of Acis and Galatea (spoiler: Acis is killed and ends up as a fountain). The music hits the pastoral mood from the very start with the subdominant harmonies and fetching suspensions of the Sinfonia. The work has been expanded in several dimensions, including by Handel himself over the decades and centuries, but the original 1718 version of the work, the one heard here, is perhaps preferable: the mix of fun and light tragedy in the work comes through most clearly. Likewise, although the opera has been done plenty of times by full-on operatic voices, and listeners may fondly remember the version with Peter Pears and Joan Sutherland from the 1950s, the smaller-scale singing of Jeremy Budd and Grace Davidson is attractive indeed, and the one-voice-per-part chorus reflects the circumstances of the work's original performance. Sample Davidson's charmingly injured "Must I my Acis still bemoan." An altogether delightful version of this familiar Handel work. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Coro

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Classical - Released November 15, 2005 | Coro

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Classical - Released February 2, 2009 | Coro

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Classical - Released September 27, 2004 | Decca (UMO)

Originally issued in 2004 but re-released in 2011 to coincide with a BBC4 documentary series, Renaissance: Music for Inner Peace is the Classical Brit Award-winning album from one of the world's most acclaimed vocal ensembles, the Sixteen. Conducted by founder Harry Christophers, it features 16 soothing renditions of pieces composed between the 14th and 17th centuries, such as Marian hymn "Salve Regina" and Allegri's "Miserere," as well as more contemporary numbers including John Taverner's "The Lamb," Barber's "Agnus Dei," and Górecki's "Totus Tuus." © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Classical - Released August 30, 2019 | Coro

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King Charles II liked to project a strong, stable, divinely legitimated image. Whilst that image had no basis in reality, the scale of his deception and financial skulduggery did not emerge until 19th-century historians discovered secret treaty documents between Charles and King Louis XIV of France. Purcell had no idea of course, and so all of the music on this album celebrates the political triumphs that he and his colleagues thought they had witnessed. It includes the quite brilliant Welcome Songs 'Welcome to all the pleasures' (with its superb six-part fanfares to St Cecilia in the final chorus) and 'From hardy climes'. © Coro/The Sixteen
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Classical - Released August 15, 2002 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released April 27, 2018 | Coro

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Following the sinister puritan religious dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell and the succession attempt by his son Richard during a few months, the King’s return from exile on his birthday in 1660 was celebrated as a breath of fresh air. Because under Cromwell, music and joy were banned, it was all about religion, only religion, always religion, along with war. It therefore comes as no surprise that the advent of the new king was celebrated with music. With that said, the present works by Purcell weren’t originally conceived for this particular return – the composer, albeit a young prodigy, was only one year old at the time – and in 1680 Welcome, vicegerent of the mighty King celebrated another royal return. Three years later, Purcell wrote Fly, bold rebellion to celebrate the king’s return following the failed Rye House Plot, a plan to assassinate the King as well as his brother, the future James II. The other works on the album, authored by Harry Christophers and his sumptuous ensemble The Sixteen, also offer other pieces by Purcell, including the stunning 1688 O sing unto the Lord, which is not directly related to any royal return, but whose essence perfectly encapsulates the spirit of artistic (and even, in a way, religious) freedom that prevailed in England at the time. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 14, 2006 | Coro

The small British chorus called the Sixteen and director Harry Christophers have delivered consistently popular recordings of Renaissance and Baroque music, maintaining very high standards of performance. Here they couple two of the most popular Baroque works of all, Vivaldi's Gloria in D major, RV 589, and Bach's Magnificat in D major, BWV 243, and the results are handsome indeed. The tenor of the performances flows from the conceptions of each work that Christophers expresses in one of the little personal essays that appears at the beginning of each booklet in this series: Vivaldi, he said, is "effective," and even operates in places here "at his simplest," while Bach is "complex." Some would use other words first, for each composer -- daring or kinetic for Vivaldi, devotional or a dozen other words for Bach. There are recordings that give Vivaldi in general and the Gloria in particular more of an edge; there are recordings of Bach that seem warmer, or more rooted in the sacred texts. But here, as usual, Christophers, the Sixteen, and the Symphony of Harmony & Invention Baroque orchestra play it straight up the middle and create accessible, appealing recordings using historical instruments. The Magnificat is really superior in the choral sections, with superb articulation of Bach's difficult interlocking runs of sixteenth notes; the building energy of the final three choruses is marvelously rendered, and the opening "Magnificat" is expansive and rich. The Vivaldi is sunny rather than triumphal, with the choir a bit reined in and rounded in tone in the famous opening "Gloria," but all the solos are top-notch, with the "Laudamus te" soprano duet of Lynda Russell and Gillian Fisher an especially lilting standout. The listener has many choices when it comes to recordings of these works, but it's hard to imagine these, the Bach especially, being substantially outdone. © TiVo