An Emerald in a Work of Gold ****

Published: 7th December 2012

The second review of ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold – Music from the Dow Partbooks’, in today’s ‘i’ newspaper, has given our new disc 4 stars, singling out Gwen Martin’s performance of the beautiful consort song ‘O Lord, how vain’ by William Byrd, which is ‘delivered with duly unornamented clarity’.

The disc is available now here on our website, on Itunes, Amazon, and at all good classical music retailers.

Sunday Times Review – An Emerald in a Work of Gold

Published: 4th December 2012

Here’s what the Sunday Times had to say about our latest CD, ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold – Music from the Dow Partbooks’, released yesterday:

‘Here are well-chosen selections from a rich compendium of mostly Elizabethan, mostly English music created by the connoisseur Robert Dow in the 1580s. From William Mundy’s exquisite Sive vigilem to to Robert Parsons’s wonderful Ave Maria setting, the ensemble sings with eloquence and expressive finesse.’

To hear it for yourself, and to grab a copy, head to our recordings page here on the website.

An Emerald in a Work of Gold – now available

Published: 4th December 2012

Our latest CD, ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold – Music from the Dow Partbooks’, is now available here on our website, as well as for digital download from Amazon and Itunes, and from all good Classical Music retailers.

Head to our recordings page to hear samples and to purchase the disc.

Review of Brighton Early Music Festival Concert

Published: 3rd November 2012

Following our extremely enjoyable concert at the Brighton Early Music Festival on Thursday (with a wonderfully warm and friendly audience!), here’s a review of the event, which you can read by clicking here.


New CD – An Emerald in a Work of Gold

Published: 22nd October 2012

We’re very excited to have received the advance copies of our latest CD, ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold – Music from the Dow Partbooks’ from the lovely people at Delphian Records. We’re delighted with the disc (and the beautiful cover!) and have fond memories of the recording sessions back in January, where we collaborated with the wonderful Rose Consort of Viols.

It’s officially released on December 3rd (in time to make an excellent stocking filler!), but copies will soon be available to pre-order here on our website, and as an added incentive to attend, they will also be on sale at our concerts in Brighton and Oxford on November 1st and 7th respectively – see you there!

Autumn concerts

Published: 28th August 2012

We’ve got some exciting concerts lined up in the next few months, beginning with our only Scottish appearance this year in St Mary’s Cathedral Edinburgh tomorrow evening at 9pm – a lovely programme of ‘Music for the Close of Day’, which went down a treat when we performed it in Wales earlier in the Summer.

Then we’re at King’s Place on September 15th, and the Brighton Early Music Festival on November 1st, with other things in the pipeline – for more information on these and other upcoming performances, visit our ‘Concerts’ page!

July Concerts

Published: 10th July 2012

We’re performing around the UK in the coming months, and in July we’re in Nottingham on the 10th and in Conwy on the 26th – we look forward to seeing you there!

For more information on these and other upcoming performances, visit our ‘Concerts’ page.

The Marian Consort on Youtube

Published: 6th May 2012

In addition to the audio samples to be found here on our website, we are also now on Youtube! Below is us singing Monteverdi’s beautiful madrigal ‘Sfogava con le stelle’, recorded live at our concert in the La Caixa Forum in Girona back in January. Enjoy!


"Singing one person to a part, the Marian Consort give sublimely refined, spacious and impeccably tuned performances."

The Sunday Times

"The singers perform with a yearning intensity which is just exquisite."


"Exemplary one-to-a-part performances ... the singing is as impassioned as it is effortlessly elegant."

BBC Music Magazine

"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."

Early Music Today

"There’s earnest beauty in it and the instrumental playing on this recording is spot on – the Berkeley Ensemble under David Wordsworth clinches the balance of chaste, plaintive and urgent."

The Gaurdian

"You are left in no doubt of the agony of the crucifixion in the vocal and horn climax of the opening chorus of Stabat Mater ... intense and riveting."

The Times

"The Marian Consort’s performances deliver full value in terms of expressive range and sophistication. Pitch-perfect tuning and immaculately clean ensemble … add further to the attractions of this eminently listenable recital."

BBC Music Magazine

"The Marian Consort’s background in early music pays dividends in their superb precision of pitch, impeccable rhythmic placing and beautiful diction … the lush harmonies that open [Judica me] are sumptuously delivered and beautifully recorded."


"Little is known about the 16th-century composer, except that his beautifully smooth polyphony was much admired ... As revealed with pellucid clarity by Rory McCleery’s young Marian Consort on this first recording devoted exclusively to Maillard, he was a subtly expressive composer."

The Times

"With two women in the group, they make no pretence at emulating what might have happened in the 16th century; but that lets them sing out with more freedom. So this is no-nonsense musicianship, but for all that thoroughly musical ... The unfussy performance helps the music enormously."


"The motets are more adventurous, declamatory and cleverly nuanced, with a recognisable house style. The Marian Consort produces a very pleasing sound."

Early Music Today

"The most striking feature of this entertainingly varied collection is the consistently fresh, fruit-ripe tonal quality of the Marian Consort's singing … poised and flexible, the text responded to with notable insight and maturity."

BBC Music Magazine