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A Wondrous Mystery

Five stars from The Telegraph

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph (23 December, 2015)

Discs featuring timeless carols and Christmas songs are perennially released alongside others that delve into more recondite areas of the seasonal repertoire, prime among them this year being “A Wondrous Mystery” sung by the London-based vocal ensemble Stile Antico.

This new CD fully lives up to the supreme blend of voices, the clarity and the natural inflections that are hallmarks of Stile Antico’s singing in Renaissance music by Michael Praetorius, Clemens non Papa, Jacob Handl and Johannes Eccard.

The component parts of Clemens’s “Missa Pastores quidnam vidistis” are interspersed with motets (among them Praetorius’s well-known “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”) in a programme that reveals Stile Antico as one of the most fluent, perceptive interpreters of Renaisance polyphony.