The Phoenix Rising

Stile Antico

23.9931.49
Clear
Original Recording Format: DSD 64

Amongst the many and diverse projects funded by the Carnegie UK trust (which celebrates its centenary this year), one project in particular was to transform the musical life of the whole nation to a degree which could not have been anticipated at the time, namely the publication of Tudor Church Music (TCM), a ten-volume collected edition of works by the great Tudor composers, published by OUP between 1922-1929 and accompanied by a series of individual ‘octavo’ performing editions of individual pieces suitable for purchase and use by choirs. Relatively little of the music included had been previously available in modern score, most of it still residing in library manuscripts and, of course, in partbook format – the norm in the sixteenth century but alien to the average modern singer. Thanks to TCM, a significant body of the finest Tudor music became readily available to scholars and performers alike in easily readable editions. 

The project did not enjoy an auspicious start: the original editor R. R. Terry, the first Director of Music at Westminster Cathedral and an early advocate of the music of Byrd, proved unable to progress with the task, and was ousted by the members of his editorial committee.  They continued the work, but slow progress and mounting losses on the expensive ‘library’ edition caused the Trust to pull the plug on ten of the original twenty volumes proposed. Indeed, the Trust came to the pessimistic view that ‘There is, as yet, little evidence to justify the belief that the recovered music is likely to take a prominent place in the ordinary church choir repertoires’.  How wrong they were!

Tracklist

1.
Ave verum corpus
04:08
2.
Salvator mundi - I
03:20
3.
Mass for five - Kyrie eleison
01:36
4.
Mass for five voices - Gloria in excelsis Deo
05:29
5.
Nolo mortem peccatoris
03:13
6.
O clap your hands togther
05:34
7.
Mass for five voices - Credo
09:55
8.
Portio mea
06:53
9.
Christie qui lux es et dies-IV
06:23
10.
Almighty and everlasting God
02:17
11.
Mass for five voices - Sabctus & Benedcictus
04:30
12.
In ieiunio et fletu
04:38
13.
Mass for five voices - Agnus Dei
03:46
14.
O splendor gloriae
12:53

Total time: 01:14:35

Additional information

Artists

Mastering Engineer

Brad Michel

Genres

,

Label

Qualities

Channels

, ,

Original Recording Format

Digital Converters

Meithner DSD AD/DA

Composers

, , , , ,

Producer

Robina G. Young

Recording Engineer

Brad Michel

Recording location

London, UK

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD64

Recording Software

Pyramix

Awards

, ,

SKU

HMU907572

Release Date May 5, 2014
SKU HMU907572

Press reviews

Sequenza21.com

31 Memorable Recordings from 2013

All Music

AllMusic’s Favorite Classical Vocal Albums of 2013

Opus One Review

I continue to rely on this album for the luxury of letting my mind go free. …Stile Antico is a vocal ensemble of a dozen or more persons that is conductorless. It functions as a chamber ensemble in which each member contributes something personal to the musical result. Their spacious but precise approach is marked by spontaneous and subtle shifts of tempo and rhythm that have brought them to the front rank of Rennaisance choirs.The prospect of listening to this harmonious blend of voices expanding passion into peace, focus into freedom, will unwind your mind to a wonderful space of being beyond all styles of worship. The album is richly produced and beautifully recorded with the support of the Carnegie UK Trust.

HiFi+

“The Phoenix Rising presents a sublime melange of the 16th Century composed from Gibbons to Morely… the performances are incredibly meticulous. The diction is second to none, each word is clearly pronounced and the recording quality is so well balanced, one can hear each part at all times… overall exquisite sound.”

Fanfare

Stile Antico is one of the finest vocal ensembles in today’s concert scene and the voices blend as one… The program flows together effortlessly… The surround sound is unobtrusive… If you know this group, you will not be disappointed. If you do not, you must hear a remarkable singing ensemble.

Fanfare

Stile Antico brings the encompassing strength of a medium-sized ensemble sound, without losing the intimacy and refinement of a small vocal ensemble… If I had to single out one performance… it would be Gibbons’s Almighty and everlasting God… the immediate beauty of the anthem, combined with the perfect tonal integration Stile Antico achieves, makes this an impossible performance to beat.

Audiophilia

This music is sophisticated, voiced brilliantly and is heartbreakingly beautiful.It is stunningly recorded by Harmonia Mundi where every vowel is round and fat and every consonant, tactile. The tuning is flawless and the musicality is exceptional. Stile Antico is a wonderful young group of British singers. Buy this CD. Turn up the fire, lower the lights and be transported to another time. After the CD is finished and you open your eyes, you may wish to go back. ASAP. Hypnotic and highly recommended.

The New York Times

The superb British early-music choir Stile Antico offers a beautifully sung program of Tudor church music, including William Byrd’s richly polyphonic Mass for Five Voices. The disc also includes haunting renditions of music by Tallis, Thomas Morley and Orlando Gibbons.

PS Tracks

Sometimes a recording comes along, and it seems pointless to describe its many virtues. The artists have long since established a reputation for excellence; the repertoire includes many of the most beloved works in a genre; the sound could hardly be bettered. All you can do is point the consumer toward certain bliss… This conductor-less ensemble does wonders… superhumanly pristine renditions of Renaissance church music.

American Record Guide

This is a flawless and lovely performanced historically fascinating program rendered with great musical sensitivity.

Positive Feedback

They sing it well: voices are excellent and as an ensemble they have coherence and clarity.

Gramophone

There’s a forthright quality to the voices of Stile Antico, and especially its sopranos, that suits this English repertoire, balancing beauty with an intensity that reminds us that this is the music of protest and oppression as well as faith.

Telegraaf

Er staat Engelse religieuze muziek op uit de Tudor-periode, van Byrd, Tallis, Morley, Gibbons en anderen. In deze wonderschone, kwetsbare muziek leveren de twaalf zangers een fraai staaltje Engelse koorzang.Ze zingen spatgelijk, loepzuiver, met een gekruid geluid en gevoel voor urgentie. Dwingende melodische lijnen monden uit in slotakkoorden die als balsem zijn voor de ziel. Om stil van te worden.

MusicWeb International

RECORDING OF THE MONTH
“Throughout the disc the clarity of each individual vocal line is superbly evident, helped by the brilliantly captured sound in the acoustic of St Jude’s church. The Harmonia Mundi engineers have done a great job of ensuring that everything is audible: I listened in 2.0 stereo, but I imagine the SACD sound must be staggering. The clarity of the choir’s diction is also first rate; both in English and in Latin every word is audible. The booklet also contains full sung texts and translations. Yet another feather in Stile Antico’s already resplendent cap.”
October 2013

Restless and Real

Beautifully sung, arranged and recorded, ‘The Phoenix Rising’ is contemplative music at its finest. Very highly recommended.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A new recording from the superb young British a cappella choir Stile Antico is always an event. “The Phoenix Rising” (Harmonia Mundi 807572) celebrates both great Tudor church music and the legacy of the Carnegie UK Trust, founded in 1913. The Trust commissioned performing editions of works by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tallis, John Tavener, Thomas Morley and others. The works published in “Tudor Church Music” became the core of the Anglican church music performed in the 20th century.The choir sings it with style and purity, and without a conductor, with the understanding that comes from growing up with a body of work. “Phoenix” is a treasure.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A new recording from the superb young British a cappella choir Stile Antico is always an event. “The Phoenix Rising” (Harmonia Mundi 807572) celebrates both great Tudor church music and the legacy of the Carnegie UK Trust, founded in 1913. The Trust commissioned performing editions of works by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tallis, John Tavener, Thomas Morley and others. The works published in “Tudor Church Music” became the core of the Anglican church music performed in the 20th century.The choir sings it with style and purity, and without a conductor, with the understanding that comes from growing up with a body of work. “Phoenix” is a treasure.

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

To hear Stile Antico’s vocal performances of English Tudor Church music is to hear something very old yet somehow right for our ears today… It’s music that gives you the chills, for its ancient voices speaking clearly to us today, for the sheer beauty of its note choices and for the gracious transparency of Stile Antico’s outstanding musicianship… If you could have only one choral recording representing this style and time, this probably should be it… Stunning. Stunning all around.

Audiophile Audition

Another winner from Stile Antico, this time probing the riches of the Tudor Church Music Project… in sumptuous surround sound and sung with a rarified perfection, is extremely satisfying.

The New Zealand Herald

Tudor music thrills anew, thanks to the artistry and musicianship of top British choir.

Sinfini Music

Stile Antico is on top of its game here. They open with two TCM treasures, Byrd’s Ave verum and Tallis’s Salvator mundi (I), and build a compelling programme around the movements of Byrd’s Mass for five voices. There’s a rare spaciousness about the conductorless vocal ensemble’s singing, aided by the acoustics of St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb and terrific recorded sound. Taverner’s aptly named O splendor gloriae stands as this sublime album’s crowning jewel, a pristine object for still contemplation. Switch off all mobile devices, shut out distractions and simply be with the experience of listening.

The Independent

Exquisitely rendered by the Stile Antico consort, the works range chronologically from John Taverner’s “O Splendor Gloriae”, in which the Eton Choirbook style is still audible, to Orlando Gibbons’ “O Clap Your Hands Together”, where Psalm 47 is brilliantly set in a cascade of repetitions that develops intense hypnotic power.

The Whole Music Experience

take a listen to the closing track, O Splendor gloriae (John Taverner) which offers approximately 13 minutes of wall-of-sound pleasure to your ears. Call the CD a masterpiece, it’s certainly masterful and more than worthy of musical attention.

The Times (UK)

“Stile Antico sing Tudor and Jacobean classics…with exemplary tuning and discipline. The more elaborate and spacious the music, the warmer the interpretation”

Early Music Today

‘That the performances on this disc are given with the customary Stile Antico level of excellence goes without saying; what pleases most is the commitment and passion with which the ensemble sings works that have become so much part of English choral furniture that the often scarcely warrant a glimmer of interest from even the most devoted of enthusiasts, thus reminding us of the striking beauty of this repertoire.’
October/ November 2013

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