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Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales, died, a youth, in 1613 and this programme of verse anthem bliss evokes his brief promise with delicate yet virile singing, a playful appreciation of cross-rhythm and gloriously expressive word-painting. The treble soloists are particularly fine, but all excel in aptly contrasted ways, from plaintively diffident tenor to well-nourished bass. In performances glowing with Reformation vigour, captured with SACD sound quality, viols and voices perform an ineffable time-travel trick. Had Prince Henry lived, Ward might have enjoyed greater fame – as it is, we can now indulge in his wonderfully crafty, sinuously shapely music.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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