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Heavenly Harmonies

High praise from the Philadelphia Inquirer for Heavenly Harmonies

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer (16 March, 2008)

In its second disc, the Renaissance vocal group Stile Antico further establishes a newer, higher standard for singing this repertoire – both with quality of sound and understanding of the music. The qualities go hand in hand, particularly in these English Renaissance motets by William Byrd that achieve an extraordinarily tight vocal blend, a full-bodied sonority not always heard in English ensembles, and also a clarity in the individual vocal strands, enabled by keen but subtle attention to the music’s rhythmic profile and how it functions in the greater whole.

I can take or leave the format, which alternates simple, English-language Protestant hymns by Thomas Tallis with complex, Latin-language Catholic motets by Byrd. But with music-making at this level, who’s to argue?