Loquebantur: Music from the Baldwin Partbooks

John Baldwin was a lay clerk at St George’s Chapel, Windsor in 1575 and became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1598. The so-called ‘Baldwin partbooks’, held at Christ Church, Oxford, were his creation – a very personal collection, representing his individual tastes and interests from a wealth of English and Continental polyphony and consort music.

As in their previous collaboration, an exploration of the similarly conceived partbooks of Robert Dow, The Marian Consort and Rose Consort of Viols have kept faith with Baldwin’s own intentions, bringing to light some of the rarer gems preserved by this great advocate and music-lover and providing the listener with ‘such sweete musicke: as dothe much delite yeelde’.

"The most striking feature of this entertainingly varied collection is the consistently fresh, fruit-ripe tonal quality of the Marian Consort's singing…sensitive unison singing, and a firm bass lead from Christopher Borrett set Sheppard's Ave maris stella purposefully in motion. Interpretively it's the programme's finest performance, the pacing more poised and flexible, the text responded to with notable insight and maturity."

"there is…programmatic integrity and a convincing ebb and flow between them."

"Voices and instruments alternate but never overlap, making this a spartan but severely beautiful collection, culminating in John Sheppard’s glorious Ave Maris Stella.The acoustic of Merton College chapel provides ideal focus and warmth."

"a bright, finely tuned sound…in an attractively balanced recording."

"[an] engaging and thoughtfully planned programme … it is a measure of his [John Baldwin] discriminating, adventurous taste as well as the commitment and talent of the performers here recorded so well, that there is not a single unappealing moment. Be equally adventurous and investigate!"

"The Marian Consort has built an enviable reputation for coolly poised and precisely balanced performances and indeed there are times here when the listener can only sit back and admire, seduced by the sheer beauty of sound."


"The splendid Marian Consort sings the music beautifully... to quote Baldwin himself, this thoroughly recommended disc provides "such sweete musicke: as dothe much delite yeelde"."


"The Marian Consort's delivery is clean, unembellished and wholly uplifting, and the listener is drawn in by a quiet persuasion and musical versatility of a rare quintessential quality"


Producer: Paul Baxter
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 16
Total playing time: 1:06:12
First UK release date: 30 October 2015
Album ID: DCD34160

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