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Song of Songs

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Song of Songs

David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer (10 May, 2009)

In only a few years, the 14-member British vocal group Stile Antico has created a niche in the world of Renaissance-era specialists. Its flawless, low-vibrato blends and emotional and intellectual engagement make a considerable, if subtle, difference in the personality of the performances.

In the group’s first disc to venture outside English polyphony, the exterior luster remains, but now fueled by a sense of the music’s inner purpose, often comparing the treatment of the same borderline-erotic secular texts by different great 16th-century composers.

The program is also intelligently paced among polyphonic songs, chants and music of contrasting nationality and style.

Also lovely is the way the group attenuates any given final chord a few nanoseconds, just to let you enjoy the sound longer.