“Sing with the Voice of Melody” – stile antico – Harmonia mundi multichannel SACD HMU 807650, 72:41 *****:
I guess you have arrived at a milestone when two things occur: your ensemble has made it for ten complete years in the concert and recording realms, and a “greatest hits” album is released by your record company. For the members of stile antico, amazingly fulfilling both of these requirements, it must be sweet indeed. This group of twelve, easily one of the best choral assimilations in the world, now has nine recordings to their credit, plus this one, and each is as varied and necessary as the others.
There is a febrile strength to their music making that is marked with brilliant dynamics, subtle tonal variation, and tensile adaptation to a whole host of mandatory stylistic variances. They are definitely a modern answer to a modern concern with presentation and authenticity, while never abandoning the inner core and importance of genuine interpretation. This is a wonderful place to start if you want to sample, but I guarantee that you will end up desiring the whole kit and caboodle.
Byrd: Ecce virgo concipiet; Vigilate (from Cantiones sacrae 1589)
Ceballos: Hortus conclusus
Clemens: Ego flos campi
Gibbons, O: O clap your hands
Gombert: Magnificat I
McCabe, J: Woefully arrayed
Sheppard, J: The Lord’s Prayer
Tallis: In pace in idipsum; Gloria from Missa ‘Puer natus es nobis’
Tomkins: O Praise the Lord, All Ye Heathen
Victoria: O vos omnes
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