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Colman Morrissey)
MUSE, November 2000

"Elizabethan England evokes images of a golden age. This, after all, was the time in history when Sir Walter Raleigh discovered a weed called tobacco and was prepared to lay his prized red cloak on the ground rather than have his sovereign soil her feet in the muck of 16th-century London. It was also the period when Sir Francis Drake took time off from a game of bowls to defeat the Spanish Armada and when the influence of England reached new levels of respect and deference among her neighbours. As always with images of history, however, the reality is much more complex and this disc, of music mostly from the early period of Elizabeth's reign, does convey a sense of the diversity and variety of emotional expression in society in that period.

Many of the consort songs on this disc were performed in the earlier years of Elizabeth's reign as entertainments and dramatic presentations made at the courts and houses of the nobility of England. Music was generally used to support theatre and other arts but these restrictions did not stop the great musicians of the period writing music of beauty and emotional power and depth. Most of the great musicians of Elizabethan England are represented here - Byrd, Tallis and Taverner to mention but a few - so that the disc contains a good cross-section of Elizabethan Music. Performances are exemplary and the disc is highly recommended to all lovers of the music of this period."

Nicholas Anderson
Classic FM, April 2000

"The Rose Consort of Viols and mezzo-soprano Catherine King present an attractive collection. Thomas Tallis, John Taverner and William Byrd, among others, are down on the menu. The expressive hue of he programme is predominantly one of mild melancholy but not of a kind lower the spirits. King's voice suits the music well as she demonstrates in Robert Parson's beautiful 'Pour Doun, you Pow'rs Divine."

Jeremy Noble
International Record Review, March 2000

"This disc is marvellous value, and not only in monetary terms. The popular picture of Elizabethan music is dominated by the madrigals of the reign's last decade... What we have here, though, is a well-considered anthology of the chamber music of the 1560s and 1570s. ...
The Rose Consort understands this music perfectly, and brings out the character of the individual pieces without exaggeration."

David Vernier, December 1999

"King's rich mezzo is an ideal complement to the warm, reedy viols, and the instrumental playing must receive special mention for its sensitivity and tasteful style. This recording will provide an appealing introduction to one of the most significant and accessible genres of early music; and it will satisfy confirmed fans as well."

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