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Tune thy Musicke to thy Hart

The Irish Times on Tune thy Musicke

Michael Dervan, Irish Times (20 April, 2012)

Tudor and Jacobean music for private devotion is the focus here, with the title provided by the poet and composer Thomas Campion. This 15-piece collection is another winner from the 12-voice ensemble Stile Antico. The performing style is beautifully judged, unlaboured in terms of emphasis, but full of incident. Rhetorical details, clashes of dissonance, scrunchy false relations are astutely observed and all make their mark without distortion or exaggeration. The two pieces by Thomas Tomkins, O praise the Lord and When David heard, epitomise the expressive richness of the style. But the simplicity of Campion’s Never weather-beaten sail is also gorgeous, and there’s an unexpected rocking figure, John Browne’s much earlier Jesu, mercy, how may this be?, that becomes a real earworm. The contributions of the viol consort Fretwork are equally fine.