Heavenly Harmonies

Heavenly Harmonies

by Stile Antico
     
 

The Heavenly Harmonies title of this disc might lead buyers to expect a general collection of sacred music, but in fact the program represents a unique juxtaposition of English Renaissance masters who are generally presented separately. One by one, the music alternates between Thomas Tallis' English-language "Nine Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter" --See more details below

Overview

The Heavenly Harmonies title of this disc might lead buyers to expect a general collection of sacred music, but in fact the program represents a unique juxtaposition of English Renaissance masters who are generally presented separately. One by one, the music alternates between Thomas Tallis' English-language "Nine Psalm Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter" -- the very essence of severe Anglican homophony -- and the recusant Catholic William Byrd's richly expressive, inward motets and "Mass Propers for Pentecost." The styles, as bass Matthew O'Donovan put it in the booklet, "may seem rather like chalk and cheese." Yet what the leaderless singers of the young British group Stile Antico are trying to show is that these composers inhabited a common universe even if ecclesiastical authorities did not. Tallis did not write plain chorale-like pieces but rather strove to create polyphony on a small, memorable scale. And Byrd, apparently deciding there was no reason the devil should have all the good tunes, adopted, especially in the music heard here, devices from the Anglican style when he wanted to express strong, individual spiritual emotion. Stile Antico's performances are ideal. For one thing, in music whose key characteristic is its response to text, the group articulates the words so clearly that you can understand every word of the English (and the Latin, if you've got it -- and all texts are given in English, Latin, French, and German in the booklet). And they sing the words with the expression the composers intended. Sample Byrd's anguished "Infelix ego" (Unhappy am I), set to a text by Italian radical Girolamo Savonarola of 100 years before Byrd's time: the sequence of questions, "Where shall I go?," "Where shall I turn?," To whom shall I flee?," "Who will have pity on me?" have an impact rarely matched among Renaissance recordings. The sound is marvelously clear, far beyond the norm for this kind of thing, and one is left wishing for more recording data -- beyond a photo caption referring to a recording session at church, there is none. This is a top-notch job all around that can be recommended equally to collectors of English choral music and listeners just beginning to understand the style worlds of Renaissance music.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
Stile Antico further establishes a newer, higher standard for singing this repertoire - both with quality of sound and understanding of the music.
Daily Telegraph - Elizabeth Roche
Stile Antico are one of the brightest new stars in the firmament of Renaissance vocal ensembles.... These moving performances [are] very special indeed.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/11/2008
Label:
Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC:
0093046746360
catalogNumber:
807463
Rank:
136934

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Third Tune: Why fum'th in fight  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  2. Vigilate, motet for 5 voices (SATBarB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  3. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Fifth Tune: E'en like the hunted hind  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  4. Ne irascaris (also anthems: "Let not Thy wrath" & "O Lord, turn thy wrath"), motet for 5 voices (SATBar (or T) B)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  5. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Second Tune: Let God arise  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  6. Exsurge Domine, motet for 5 voices (SMezATB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  7. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Sixth Tune: Expend, O Lord  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  8. Infelix ego, motet for 6 voices (SMez ATBarB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico  - Girolamo Savonarola
  9. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Eighth Tune: God grant with grace  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  10. Laetentur coeli, motet for 5 voices (SMexATB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  11. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: First Tune: Man blest no doubt  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  12. Quis et homo, motet for 5 voices (SSATB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  13. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Veni creator: Come Holy Ghost  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  14. Propers for the Mass of Pentecost, for 5 voices (Gradualia, Book 2): Introit: Spiritus Domini  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  15. Propers for the Mass of Pentecost, for 5 voices (Gradualia, Book 2): Offertory: Confirma hoc Deus  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  16. Propers for the Mass of Pentecost, for 5 voices (Gradualia, Book 2): Communion: Factus est repente (Gradualia II, 1607)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  17. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Seventh Tune: Why brag'st in malice  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  18. Tribulations civitatum, motet for 5 voices (SATBarB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  19. Psalm Tunes (9) for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, for 4 voices: Fourth Tune: O come in one to praise the lord  - Thomas Tallis  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico
  20. Laudibus in sanctus (also anthem "Praise the Lord among His Holy ones"), motet for 5 voices (SSATB)  - William Byrd  - Geneviève Begou  - Heidi Fritz  - Matthew O'Donovan  -  Stile Antico

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >