Stile Antico – Song Of Songs (2009) [HDTracks FLAC 24bit/88,2kHz]

Stile Antico – Song Of Songs (2009)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 1:17:39 minutes | 1,48 GB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital booklet | © Harmonia Mundi

The most ‘profane’ book of the Old Testament was among the favorite biblical texts of the Middle Ages. The composers of the Renaissance made particular use of it as a metaphor of divine love, or in association with the cult of Mary. After their first two extremely successful recordings, the singers of Stile Antico have chosen some of the finest specimens of these musical settings.

The members of the British vocal ensemble Stile Antico, founded in 2001, have an exceptionally pure and youthful sound. In previous albums the group has explored English music of the Renaissance, and here it turns to sixteenth and early seventeenth settings of texts from the Song of Songs by a variety of continental composers. The selections include some of the masterworks of high Renaissance polyphony, including music by Nicolas Gombert, Orlande de Lassus, Jacob Clemens non Papa, Francisco Guerrero, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Tomás Luis de Victoria. The works by lesser composers, including Jean Lhéritier, Rodrigo de Ceballos, and Sebastián de Vivanco are no less impressive and affecting, especially in performances as polished and attentive as these. The elaborately polyphonic textures that prevail are effectively shown off and are kept from becoming too much of a good thing because they are interspersed with monophonic plainchant antiphons that serve as refreshing aural palate cleansers. The ensemble sings with immaculate intonation and an impressively broad expressive range. The group works without a conductor, and the sensitivity and attention that that demands of each member pays off beautifully in these performances, where they seem to operate as a single organic entity. The sound of the SACD is clean, but atmospheric and nicely ambient. The only caveat is that, through some anomaly of recording, some initial consonants, particularly “s” and “ch,” have a percussive punch that works against the prevailing tone of smooth serenity.

01 – Jacob Clemens non Papa: Egos flos campi
02 – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Osculetur me
03 – Anonymous: Antiphon: Dum esset rex
04 – Francisco Guerrero: Surge, propera amica mea
05 – Nicolas Gombert: Quam pulchra es
06 – Anonymous: Antiphon: Nigra sum
07 – Orlande de Lassus: Veni, dilecte mi
08 – Tómas Luis de Victoria: Vadam et circuibo
09 – Anonymous: Alleluia: Tota pulchra es
10 – Francisco Guerrero: Ego flos campi
11 – Jean Lhéritier: Nigra sum
12 – Anonymous: Antiphon: Laeva eius
13 – Rodrigo de Ceballos: Hortus conclusus
14 – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Nigra Sum
15 – Anonymous: Antiphon: Speciosa facta es
16 – Sebastián de Vivanco: Veni, dilecte mi
17 – Francisco Guerrero: Trahe me post te
18 – Anonymous: Antiphon: lam hiems transiit
19 – Tómas Luis de Victoria: Vidi speciosam