Stile Antico are a relatively new Choral Ensemble, originating, as many do, from out of the Oxbridge choral world. The main distinguishing feature of this group which sets them apart from the numerous other `early music' groups is their lack of conductor. I'm not just talking about in performance, there's no conductor/director present at any stage of rehearsals or concerts! By removing the focusing point of a single artistic influence, the group are able to use all their individual experience and work as a unit, bringing the chamber music ideal of music controlled by all the performers into the choral field.
Judging by the results that these performances display, this is a fresh and exciting move -It is by no means easy to achieve this standard of music making throughout an entire disc. It exhibits all of the groups talents, the opening track (Libera nos I, Sheppard) setting the disc up with its brilliant contrasts of ethereal and radiant singing.
Aside from the music, it's encouraging to see that members of the group work hard behind the scenes, creating performing editions, putting together the programmes and writing the (excellent) sleeve notes. Just a quick look at their website (I'm not allowed to mention it here, but it's easily findable on the net!) reveals the full gamut of the abilities that these talented young singers possess.
This is a truly extraordinary disc, full of singing of the highest order. Words don't really do justice to the expressive and colourful delights contained within. Highly recommended.