Notes and Editorial Reviews
A New York Times 25 Best Classical Track Selection for 2019
The regime of Queen Elizabeth I dealt harshly with supporters of the old Catholic religion. Torn between obedience and conscience, some of England’s most talented musicians - Philips, Dering and Dowland - chose a life of exile abroad. Others chose to remain in spiritual isolation in England, comparing themselves to the exiled Israelites in Babylon.
Amongst them were Robert White, whose five-part Lamentations are one of the glories of English music of any age, and William Byrd, whose anguished Catholic music is referenced in Shakespeare’s enigmatic poem The Phoenix and the Turtle, vividly set by Huw Watkins especially for Stile Antico.
The dozen voices of Stile Antico give achingly expressive performances of Elizabethan masterpieces, and, as ever, excel in plangency. In Byrd’s Quomodo cantabimus the ensemble allow the texture to unfold with a gentle flow in what is some superb singing.
– Sunday TImes (uk) / Gramophone
Stile Antico excel in everything they sing, but for the yearning melancholy of William Byrd they always seem to reserve something particularly special, a balm for the troubled soul.
– New York Times (David Allen) Read less
Works on This Recording
Quomodo cantabimus? by William Byrd
Lamentations of Jeremiah by Robert White
Written: 16th Century; England
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