Born in 1525, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina shares his name with his city of origin and became a chorister at the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica in nearby Rome by the age of 12. He was taught by French musicians and influenced by the Franco-Flemish Guillaume Du Fay and Josquin des Prez, and his own style as a composer was shaped by the fashions in northern Europe. Palestrina was the first Italian to achieve recognition as a master of polyphony, and this - along with his advancement of counterpoint - contribute to his legacy as the king of Renaissance-era polyphony. His influence on other composers is significant. Allegri was among his pupils, J.S. Bach studied his Masses fervently, and Mendelssohn considered him in the same league as Beethoven, Mozart and the aforementioned Bach. Boasting an extensive discography and garnering continuing critical acclaim, Peter Phillips' Tallis Scholars have been at the forefront of early vocal music since their formation in 1973. Their commitment to the music of Palestrina is steadfast, as a journey through their performance schedule and back catalogue will confirm. This recording won Gramophone Magazine's 1991 Early Music award, and it's easy to hear why. The clarity of the voices and precision of the recording summon the atmosphere of timeless beautifully decorated Roman chapels.