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Puer natus est

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Puer natus est

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer (17 October, 2010)

Another great disc by the young British polyphony choir Stile Antico? Yes, but this one is a step above the previous recordings made in its few years of existence. The program of English Renaissance music by Tallis, Byrd, and White is first nature to most British choir singers, but this group brings a particular kind of authority, clearly tracking the individual linear ideas and giving them a sense of individual purpose. Though the music’s outer contours are by no means distorted, inner voices have extra definition, in terms of both sound and articulation. And while the performances don’t exactly explain the music, individual singers seem to have plumbed the depths of what it means. Next to this one, many recordings of similar reputation have a beautiful blankness, which has earned such music an unfair reputation for exquisite monotony. Once you start this disc, you can’t tear yourself away.