Quarterly Critic’s Choice

The best and most interesting new releases of the previous three months are awarded a place on the Quarterly Critic’s Choice. Evaluation criteria are artistic quality, repertoire value, presentation, and sound quality. From 2014 onward, the Long Lists are stored directly with each Quarterly Critic’s Choice.

NEW: Long List 3/2024, published on 5th July 2024

Quarterly Critic’s Choice

Early Music

»Lost Majesty«

George Jeffreys: Sacred Songs and Anthems. Solomon’s Knot. 2 CDs, Prospero PROSP0086 (Note 1)

Like no other composer of his time, George Jeffreys (ca. 1610 to 1685) championed the establishment of the »seconda prattica« in England, expressed in extravagant melodic arcs and expressive dissonances. These sacred anthems and motets also show him to be an important link between Byrd and Purcell. »Lost Majesty«, a passionate, thoroughly convincing plea for this forgotten composer, is sung with somewhat more vibrato and a more individualised timbre than we have come to expect from English vocal ensembles. However, this seems to suit the Italian madrigal tradition upon which Jeffreys draws. For the jury: Matthias Hengelbrock