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Six male voices, firmly rooted in the English choral tradition, singing some of the gems of the Tudor and Jacobean repertoire: on receiving this disc by the Queen’s Six, whose members are all lay clerks in the choir of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, I was immediately reminded of ‘English Renaissance’, a King’s Singers album from 1995 (and one of the first CDs I ever bought!). Apart from the overlap of only two works on both discs, the similarities end there – except to say that ‘Music of the Realm’ has given me just as great listening pleasure as the earlier album.

The Queen’s Six clearly have a great love for this repertoire, and allied to the bond that comes from working together several times each week this produces some glorious performances. There are plenty of ‘greatest hits’ here – Byrd’s ‘Hæc dies’ and ‘O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen’, Gibbons’ ‘Almighty and everlasting God’, the settings of ‘When David heard’ by Weelkes and Tomkins – but the rarities receive no less care from the ensemble. If ever there were a disc to conjure up the magical atmosphere of attending a choral Evensong as the dusk draws in and the light fades from the windows, this is it. The recording is excellent, too, thanks to the expert ears and hands of Resonus’ co-founder Adam Binks, capturing the voices and the warm acoustic of St George’s Chapel perfectly.

Adrian Horsewood Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2015 - ©Rhinegold Publishing