Texts inspired by the dramatic events of Holy Week and Easter, set to music by some of the greatest Renaissance composers are the basis of this new hybrid SACD from Stile Antico. Included are two settings of the poem ‘Woefully arrayed’: the first by William Cornysh, the second composed for Stile Antico in 2009 by John McCabe (b. 1939). This is its first recording and Stile’s first foray into contemporary music.
Stile Antico is the benchmark ensemble of young British singers, working without a director and conducting much of their own artistic research for their programmes and concise, yet entertaining booklet notes. Much in demand in concert, the group performs regularly throughout Europe and North America. Their recordings on harmonia mundi have enjoyed great success, winning awards, including the 2009 Early Music Gramophone Award for Song of Songs.
Their performances have repeatedly been praised for their vitality and commitment, expressive lucidity and imaginative response to text. Stile Antico’s recent engagements include débuts at the BBC Proms, London’s Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, early music festivals in Boston, Bruges, Barcelona and Utrecht, and at the Cervantino Festival in Mexico. The group has toured extensively with Sting, appearing across Europe, Australia and the Far East as part of his Dowland project ‘Songs from the Labyrinth’, and is regularly invited to lead courses at Dartington International Summer School.
“What a sound: perfectly blended, carefully balanced, its sonorities reaching back effortlessly to conjure up a vanished age of devotion” The Observer