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A Wondrous Mystery

BBC Music Magazine on A Wondrous Mystery

Terry Blain, BBC Music Magazine (December 2015)

The Missa Pastores quidnam vidistis of Flemish composer Clemens non Papa provides the spine to this recital of Renaissance music for Christmas. Its five movements are interspersed with other pieces, Praetorius’s Est ist ein Ros entsprungen, Handl’s cheerful Canite tuba and Hassler’s ringing Hodie Christus natus est among them. Stile Antico’s performances are technically impeccable, though a little more exuberance would be welcome in extroverted music. The sinuous yearning of Clemens’s Agnus Dei is, though, a triumph of fluid phrasing and dynamic shaping, and a reminder of the formidable credentials of this group, currently celebrating its tenth anniversary.