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An Emerald in a Work of Gold: Music from the Dow Partbooks finds the Marian Consort with the rose Consort of Viols exploring motets, consort songs and instrumental works by Byrd, Mundy, Tye, White, Strogers, Giles, Van Wilder, Parsons, Tallis, Verdelot and others, collected by Roger Dow in Oxford in the 1580s. Singer and scholar Rory McCleery directs performances that are the very antithesis of diffident, encouraging individual colour and a powerful vocal commitment that convinces even when blend and homogeneity of tone become subservient. The results are generally outstanding, though there is a slightly brash quality to the recorded sound.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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