Opus Haute Définition awards Media Vita ‘Incontournable’
Jean-Jacques Millo, Opus Haute Définition (1 March, 2010)
We know little about the life of John Sheppard (towards 1515-1558). He was nonetheless one of the most prolific English composers of his era, most notably in the domain of church music, of which ‘his production reflected the religious upheavals of his time, and contained both works in Latin for Catholic rite and English religious music written during the years of the formation of the Protestant cult under Edward VI and Elisabeth,’ writes Wendy Thompson. The present recording well illustrates these two tracks. Let it be said from the start: this SACD is a splendour of multifaceted pleasures. First, it is a pleasure because of the works heard. It is also a pleasure because of its interpreters. But above all, it is a pleasure to once again hear the fourth recording of the most remarkable group of the last few years. For, the rigorous involvement of Stile Antico is absolutely unique, as is the perfection of intonation one can hear on each page. They crown it all by fusing tones in exemplary serenity and breathing life into what they play with rare lucidity. In short, there is no doubt about it: this SACD is a pleasure you will want to taste more than once.
(translated by Lawrence Schulman)