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WQXR (New York), January 2014

The sumptuous sound of English Renaissance music takes center stage in New York Polyphony’s latest recording featuring masses by Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, as well as a three-voice Mass setting by their little-known predecessor, John Plummer. Rounding out the collection are three new works written for the quartet by composers Gabriel Jackson, Andrew Smith and the late Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. As the ensemble told WQXR last year, the recording was made in a small church in rural Sweden, and the acoustic captures the quartet’s vibrant, crystalline sound. © 2014 WQXR (New York)

Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle, November 2013

For a demonstration of how sumptuously beautiful the music of the English Renaissance can sound, you could scarcely do better than this superb new release by the vocal quartet New York Polyphony. The main offerings are the four-voice mass settings of William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, along with a quite different three-voice setting by their little-known predecessor John Plummer, and all three are executed with a powerful combination of fluency and rhythmic solidity. …the ensemble delivers all three works with urgency and rhetorical flair. © 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Read complete review

Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, September 2013

New York Polyphony sounds larger than they are. These four guys know how to project their sound, and it’s not just the way they are recorded.

So the works by Plummer, Byrd, and Tallis, are scaled-down in context but hardly in quality.

William Byrd was caught in the fire a number of times, and this Mass displays his unique and unflagging ability to put heart and soul into every line of notes he writes.

Tallis[’]…Mass is nearly syllabic, saving counterpoint for special moments and used only sparingly…This beautiful work is a good introduction to the composer for those who don’t know him.

…the Bennett A Colloquy with God…[is] a lovely, lyrical piece that works well coming after the Byrd.

Another fine album from New York Polyphony, cradled in Bis’s marvelous surround acoustics. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review, September 2013

You may not think the world yearns for another Byrd 4-part Mass recording—that is, until you hear these four male voices sing it. Sure, you’ve heard the Tallis Scholars’ reference version, but have you ever heard it performed by just four voices, ideally matched, of uniquely compatible timbre, combined into such a richly resonant sound? Not to mention the nuances of phrasing, of breathing, of inflection obtainable only by small ensembles whose members are closely bonded personally and are musically of one mind.

Recommended with the assurance that you will listen to this disc often. © Read complete review

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12:45:46 PM, 4 September 2015
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