Owen Rees, Queen’s Choir & Contrapunctus Receive Diapason D’Or

A new disc of English music by The Queen’s College Choir and Contrapunctus, directed by Professor Owen Rees, has received a Diapason d’or in the January 2020 edition of the French classical music magazine Diapason.

Released in 2019, this recording project of music by John Taverner brought together the singers of Owen Rees’s professional vocal consort Contrapunctus and the Choir of The Queen’s College to provide performing forces (some 40 voices) equivalent to the large Tudor choirs such as the Chapel Royal, and – more particularly – to deploy these forces to reflect the dramatic way in which large-scale polyphony before the Reformation in England exploited contrasts between passages for solo voices and others for the whole choral group. The centrepiece of the recording – the six-voice Missa Gloria tibi trinitas – and the great votive antiphon Gaude plurimum both exploit such dramatic contrasts in telling fashion.

The review in Diapason comments: ‘The alternation of top-flight soloists and a perfect choir here produces marvels … A triumph of the English choral tradition at its best.’