A Wondrous Mystery

A Wondrous Mystery: Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas—Stile Antico (Harm Mundi 807575)

ArkivMusic.com gives this 2015 release the highest possible marks in Artistic Quality and Sound Quality. Our only quibble here at WCLV is that—having received the CD too late last year to feature it properly—we had to wait a year to share its joys with our listeners. Click through for the rave review by David Vernier of ClassicsToday.com, along with an historical perspective of Christmas recordings in the age of the CD (an age which, of course, is rapidly drawing to a close). “Here,” writes Mr. Vernier, “the 12-voice ensemble Stile Antico, which specializes in Renaissance polyphony, [offers] a consistently entertaining and often enlightening program of mostly late-16th century works by ‘continental’ composers, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, some well-known (Praetorius; Clemens; Hassler) and others infrequently heard (Handl; Eccard). A sort of anchor for the program is Jacobus Clemens’ Missa Pastores quidnam vidistis, whose movements are separated by motets by Handl, Eccard, and Hassler, and a Magnificat by Hieronymus Praetorius… The rest of the disc is filled…with the same standard of superlative ensemble singing and well-chosen music that will make this a favorite recording for all Christmas choral collectors, joining the group’s earlier Puer natus est from 2010…You won’t hear finer singing anywhere.”

Featured Mon 12/5, Wed 12/14, Fri 12/23

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