Friday, 3 December, 2021 at 7:30 pm
St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, United Kingdom
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Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle (24 October, 2010)
Stile Antico, the suave young British vocal ensemble whose CD of 16th century settings from the Song of Songs was one of the musical highlights of last year, has come through with another gem – and just in time for the Christmas season, if the folks on your shopping list have a taste for Renaissance polyphony. This disc of Tudor music for Advent and Christmas shows off the elegance and richness of the English style, in performances marked by tonal purity and translucent vocal textures. At the heart of the lineup is the “Missa Puer Natus Est,” Thomas Tallis’ elaborate and expansive Christmas Mass, whose movements serve as an anchor for the other offerings. Those include short works by William Byrd, notable for their melodic beauty and craft, as well as music by John Taverner, Robert White and John Sheppard; Tallis’ intricate and eloquent motet “Videte miraculum” begins the disc in sumptuous fashion.