Pro Cantione Antiqua

Biography

Active: 1968 - ; London, England
The 1960s were a period when pioneering singers followed the lead of instrumentalists to create ensembles devoted to researching and performing the long-forgotten treasure of Western music composed before the time of Bach and Handel, and it was in the middle of that decade that three British musicians and scholars founded Pro Cantione Antiqua. They were tenor James Griffett, countertenor Paul Esswood, and conductor Mark Brown, joined by conductor Read more and musicologist Bruno Turner. The intent from the beginning was to make the group an ensemble of soloists, in the sense that they all had careers as professional solo singers. This blend of strength and beauty of each singer's tone and the individuality each member brings to his part is responsible for the special quality of the PCA. Its primary era of emphasis is the Renaissance era, the richest outpouring of polyphonic composition in history. Since polyphony is an interplay of truly independent lines, the individuality of the singers on each part enhances the performance and helps guide the listener through the complex part-writing. Gramophone magazine wrote of its recording of motets of Francisco de Peńalosa (ca. 1470-1528), "Careful listening will teach you much about the essence of early sixteenth century polyphony."

In addition to its Renaissance repertory, the PCA also sings considerable amounts of Medieval music and, as a number of early music groups have done, developed an interest in recent trends in contemporary music. PCA have commissioned works from composers including Sir Lennox Berkeley, Ian Parrott, Colin Mawby, and Ivan Moody, and regularly include other contemporary music on their programs.

The PCA has toured extensively through Europe, the Far East, and Latin America. It has made over 80 CD albums and won several major disc awards. Filmgoers have heard it singing an Arthur Sullivan partsong, "The Long Day Closes," as the title music of Terence Davies' 1992 film. The group has become particularly associated with the Monteverdi 1601 Vespers through performances with the early music groups the Orchestra and Choir of the Golden Age and His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornettes.

As well as being pioneers for the appreciation of Portuguese, Polish, Croatian, and Jewish polyphony, Pro Cantione Antiqua has taken a particular interest in Iberian Renaissance music. In 1999 it participated in concerts in Madrid and Seville honoring the 400th anniversary of the death of Francisco Guerrero, and in 2000 creatively planned programs linking and contrasting the sixteenth century music of Spain, Portugal, and England.

The group is comprised of the following soloists, all, of them prominent in recital and opera: Paul Esswood, Robin Tyson, James Bowman, Timothy Penrose, and Robert Harre Jones (countertenors), James Griffett, Ian Partridge, Joseph Cornwell, and Andrew King (tenors), and Stephen Roberts, Michael George, Adrian Peacock, and David Beavan (basses/baritones). Read less
Browse 1-25 of 40 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    On sale! $199.99
    CD: $189.99
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  • 2.
    Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Missa Assumpta Est Maria
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1225 Release Date: 11/05/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Anonymous
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 3.
    Lamentations
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1038 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Conductor:  Bruno Turner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 4.
    Master Of The Rena
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 4002 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Conductor:  Mark Brown,  Bruno Turner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
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    CD: $38.49
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  • 5.
    Tallis: Spem In Alium, Lamentations, Etc / Brown
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1026 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Tallis
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Archiv Produktion 1947-2013
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001833572 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anonymous,  Adam de la Halle,  Raimbaut de Vaqeiras  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hermann Töttcher,  Maria Jung  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Fritz Lehmann,  Maurus Pfaff,  Safford Cape  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Bach Festival Orchestra,  Frankfurt Music School Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
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  • 7.
    Palestrina: Lamentations of Jeremiah Book 4 / Turner, Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1142 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Conductor:  Bruno Turner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
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  • 8.
    Palestrina: Masses & Motets / Brown, Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2040 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Giovanni Palestrina
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 9.
    Palestrina: Missa Assumpta Est Maria, Etc / Mark Brown
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1025 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Anonymous
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 10.
    Tears & Lamentations / Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1259 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert White,  William Cornysh,  Anonymous,  Gilbert Banastir  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
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  • 11.
    Palestrina: Stabat Mater, Masses, Motets / Mark Brown, Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1179 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Conductor:  Bruno Turner,  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 12.
    In Paradisum - Spiritual Classical Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94412 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Brown,  Angharad Gruffydd Jones,  Lawrence Zazzo,  Pamela Heuvelmans  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Leusink,  Christopher Robinson,  Timothy Brown,  Nicol Matt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Boys Choir,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Cambridge Bach Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 13.
    Salamone De' Rossi: The Songs Of Solomon
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 117 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Salomone Rossi
    Conductor:  Sidney Fixman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 14.
    Choral Classics - Palestrina: Masses
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94266 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Performer:  Brian Etheridge,  Stephen Roberts,  Gordon Jones,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Brown,  Bruno Turner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    The Spanish Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 671885 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Enrique Granados,  Francisco Tarrega,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Jean-François Heisser,  Wolfgang Lendle,  Jennifer Larmore  ... 
    Conductor:  José Serebrier,  Armin Jordan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $14.99
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  • 16.
    Lassus: Lamentations Of Jeremiah / Turner, Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1123 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
    Conductor:  Bruno Turner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
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    CD: $9.99
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  • 17.
    In Paradisum
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94211 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Brown,  Angharad Gruffydd Jones,  Lawrence Zazzo,  Pamela Heuvelmans  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Leusink,  Christopher Robinson,  Timothy Brown,  Nicol Matt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Boys Choir,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Cambridge Bach Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 18.
    Tallis: Spem In Alium; Lamentations; Motets & Hymns / Brown, Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1082 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Thomas Tallis
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    Purcell: Secular Motets, Laudate Ceciliam, King Arthur Suite / Collegium Aureum
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77466 Release Date: 01/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua,  Collegium Aureum
    Recommendation
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 20.
    Traditional Glees & Madrigals
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1095 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Thomas Vautor,  Michael Cavendish,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 21.
    Lassus: Musica Dei Donum, Lauda Sion, Missa Puisque / Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77083 Release Date: 09/18/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 22.
    Allegri: Miserere - Renaissance Polyphony & Consort Songs
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1085 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Giovanni Palestrina,  Jacques Arcadelt,  Alessandro Grandi  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 23.
    Lassus: Requiem; Music For Easter Sunday
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1124 Release Date: 05/18/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Orlando de Lassus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 24.
    Tomas Luis De Victoria: Sacred Music / Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 4683617 Release Date: 02/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tomás Luis de Victoria
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    CD: $9.99
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  • 25.
    Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli, Stabat Mater, Missa L'homme Arme / Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1061 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina
    Conductor:  Bruno Turner,  Mark Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
    Recommendation
    CD: $9.99
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