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In a Strange Land

Swiss praise for In a Strange Land

EH, La Liberté (19 January 2019)

Splendour! The Friborg Festival of Sacred Music introduced Stile Antico in 2010, just as the vocal ensemble was exploding onto the international stage. Specialising in Renaissance polyphony, the group draws from its core repertoire with ten pieces written during the religious exile of the English Catholics in the Elizabethan era. The emotional force of these songs transcends formal perfection and vocal purity: it speaks through the harmonious and balanced interweaving of voices, the melancholy of John Dowland’s descending motifs, the sublime, repeated melismas of William Byrd’s Quomodo cantabimus, right down to a contemporary setting of Shakespeare. And, in the end, Robert White’s monumental Lamentations, with its pianos stretching out…