9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Another fine disc from Stile Antico,
This review is from: Stile Antico - Song of Songs (Palestrina/Gombert/Lassus/Victoria) (Hybr) (Audio CD)
This is Stile Antico's third disc and the first in which they have moved outside English repertoire. It is well up to the excellent standard of their first two.
The programme is a selection of settings of verses by various composers from the Song of Songs, which the sleeve notes describe as the most "profane" (for which read "erotic") book of the Bible. Used by composers to represent the love of God and of Mary, the texts are often intense, often passionate and speak of beauty, all of which is represented in the magnificent music presented here. It is a rich and varied programme, and the variety of composing styles makes it a really rewarding disc.
The performances are very good indeed. Stile Antico are increasingly regarded as among the top ensembles for this repertoire and their quality is well in evidence here: flawless intonation, a real empathy with music and text and a lovely, rich vocal blend. The acoustic is quite resonant which gives a rounded sound in which individual lines are not always completely distinct but whose overall effect is very lovely. Quite a few of these motets have been recorded by truly great ensembles like the Tallis Scholars and the Hilliard Ensemble; these versions stand up very well beside them, which is high praise indeed.
Harmonia Mundi's recorded sound is excellent and the packaging and notes are very good. It's a really cracking disc and recommended in the warmest terms.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Mar 2013 19:04:49 GMT
J Mumford says:
I must praise Mr Nuncius for his reviews of choral discs. Having had an interest in this music for a while and attended concerts by the usual suspects (16, Tallis Scholars) for the past few years I am now going about the serious business of growing my CD collection. Sid's reviews have been an invaluable guide in this process. Thanks, Mr N!
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Mar 2013 10:12:25 GMT
Sid Nuncius says:
Thank you, Mr/Ms Mumford - that's very kind of you. It is good to know that my reviews are of some use!
(I hope your CD collection now includes some of Cinquecento's recordings, btw. If not, I strongly recommend them - they're a fantastic ensemble and their latest (2012) disc of Richafort and Josquin is one of my very favourites.)
Thanks again for taking the trouble to post. I really do appreciate it.
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