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Puer natus est

High praise from The Observer

Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer (17 October, 2010)

Surely the pick of the new CDs for Christmas this year, this exquisitely performed and beautifully planned disc is another winner for Stile Antico, a young, versatile and conductor-less group. They bring together Tallis’s incomplete but richly resonant mass Puer natus est with Byrd’s much tighter, shorter Advent motets from The Gradualia, a satisfying contrast. Then they add Robert White’s expansive Magnificat and Sheppard’s glorious Verbum caro to finish. Sometimes there is an emphasis on sound at the expense of the words, but what a sound: perfectly blended, carefully balanced, its sonorities reaching back effortlessly to conjure up a vanished age of devotion.