We have just finished recording John Taverner's Missa Gloria tibi trinitas, one of the great glories of Tudor music, with the Choir of The Queen's College. Taverner gave it pride of place in the manuscript preserving the repertory from his time as the first Choirmaster at the new Cardinal College (now Christ Church) in Oxford. The drama of this music comes from the striking alternation of sections scored for the full six-voice choir and intricate solo sections. Our recording reveals how this dramatic aspect might have sounded in original performances by the largest Tudor church choirs: we achieve this by combining the forces of Owen Rees’s two ensembles: Contrapunctus (singing the solo sections) and the Choir of The Queen’s College, to provide combined forces of some 40 singers, matching the Tudor Chapel Royal. Other works include Taverner’s supremely beautiful Leroy Kyrie and Audivi vocem de caelo. The recording will be released on the Signum label in 2019.
Contrapunctus releases a second album of motets from the Baldwin Tudor partbooks, following the success of the first volume, 'In the Midst of Life', which was shortlisted for a Gramophone award in 2015. The latest album includes Tallis's exquisite 'Gloria tibi trinitas' and other Tudor gems by Sheppard, Taverner, Fayrfax, and White, with Contrapunctus's own reconstructions of the missing tenor parts. Click here to purchase a copy from Amazon or iTunes.
In September 2016 Contrapunctus will be touring to Belgium and Holland to perform the programme 'Love's Greatest Sacrifice' in two music festivals - Musica Divina Festival (Mechelen) and Musica Sacra Festival (Maastricht). See the 'concerts' page for details. The programme takes as its theme God's sacrifice of love in giving his son to save mankind, and features works by Byrd, Davy, Browne and Dering.
We are delighted that Contrapunctus' latest release has been shortlisted for the prestigious Gramophone Early Music Award 2015. This means that Contrapunctus has featured on the Gramophone Award shortlist for two years in a row, with both of its albums to date nominated for the award.
Our latest album 'In the Midst of Life' has been named Editor's Choice in the May 2015 issue of Gramophone. Alexandra Coghlan writes: 'Contrapunctus are special. Their first disc, ‘Libera nos: The Cry of the Oppressed’ (Signum, 11/13), was seriously, startlingly good: the intimacy of The Cardinall’s Musick, the rich, glowing tone of The Sixteen and the textual drama of Stile Antico. Their second disc proves that this was no one-off.' Click to read the full review on the Gramophone website.
Contrapunctus' latest CD, 'In the Midst of Life' has been named as BBC Radio 3 CD Review's Disc of the Week. The broadcast featured the whole of Sheppard's epic 'Media vita'. Click to catch up on iPlayer.
The Observer has given our latest disc 'In the Midst of Life' 4*s, stating: 'Whether you listen in Lenten penitence or in general hope of spiritual balm, the message is universal, the singing superb.' Click to read the full review.
Contrapunctus' new disc 'In the Midst of Life' featuring Tudor polyphony from the Baldwin Partbooks on the theme of mortality was selected as CD of the Week in the 28 February 2015 issue of current affairs magazine, The Week.
Contrapunctus' new album, 'In the Midst of Life: Music from the Baldwin Partbooks I' has been chosen as Sunday Times Album of the Week. Hugh Canning, Chief Classical Music Critic of The Sunday Times, describes the disc as a 'superlative album', stating: 'Rees's choir brings an intensity of sound and dramatic dynamics, in music that contemplates the pain of death in ecstatic elation and sublime devotion.'
Following its nomination for a Gramophone Early Music Award in 2014, Contrapunctus releases an album of motets from the Baldwin Tudor partbooks, on the theme of mortality. The album includes Sheppard's epic 'Media vita' and other Tudor gems by Byrd, Parsons, Mundy, Taverner, Gerarde and Tallis, with Contrapunctus's own reconstructions of the missing tenor parts. Click here to purchase a copy from Amazon or iTunes.