Wednesday, 29 September, 2021 at 11:00 am
Martin Randall Travel
Chapel of The Queen’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom
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David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer (28 February, 2010)
The 14-voice Stile Antico continues to set new standards for Renaissance polyphonic singing in this disc devoted to the 16th-century John Sheppard, whose music not only has the devout mellifluousness characteristic of the period’s liturgical music, but also strange dissonances that recur, like stones in a shoe, in almost every work.
The fact that one can even hear them is evidence of Stile Antico’s quality: The balance of vocal blend and individual voices takes you deep inside the music, helped by the fact that the group seems not to come to the music with any preconceived idea of what it should sound like. Thus, it sounds like itself, with all of its shifting textures and sublime logic that find the most ingenious resolutions for the most irrational dissonances.