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Music for Compline

Music for Compline wins CHOC du Monde de la Musique

Marc Desmet, Monde de la Musique (February 2007)

These polyphonic settings, true “songs of the night”, glow with a mystical radiance, whose most poetic nuances are captured by the young vocal ensemble Stile Antico.  A young ensemble, of young singers – but from the first notes of the Libera nos by Sheppard which opens the disc, one is struck by the maturity and acute sensitivity of this interpretation, moving in its slow and majestic tempi.  And how could one resist the poignant intensity of the In manus tuas by Tallis and Sheppard, or the Nunc dimittis by Byrd?  The journey ends with a brighter, more monumental work from the previous generation, the Marian antiphon Gaude Virgo by Hugh Aston.  Here, undeterred by the extraordinary complexities of the gathering melismas, Stile Antico demonstrate a joy in their singing which is literally euphoric.