Monday, May 1, 2017

Song of Songs. Choir music from the Renaissance.

From my collection.
Bought in January 2017.
First listen: 25-1-2017.
Second listen: 1-5-2017.
Label: Harmonia Mundi USA.
Recording dates: March 2008.
Recording venue: St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London. England.
Recording engineer: Brad Michel.
Running time: 77:41.
Classical relevance to me: A welcome addition to my collection.

Composers on this disc:

Jacob Clemens non Papa.
Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina.
Francisco Guerrero.
Nicolas Gombert.
Orlande de Lassus.
Tomas Luis de Victoria.
Jean Lhéritier.
Rodrigo de Caballos.
Sebastián de Vivanco.

Performed by:
Stile Antico.

This is the second CD in my collection by Stile Antico. At first I had to get used to the dynamics they apply, and the style in which it is recorded.  But also the fact that six women are in this choir made me at first apprehensive, for together they can destabilize a choir quite easily even if there are an equal amount of men, and does not always mean that the choir balance will be even and harmonious. There are enough examples were the music is ruined by this. I have personal experience, in this specific matter. But I was pleasantly surprised when listening to "Music for Compline" the first CD I bought. There was more loudness as I am used to or liked, but it was so carefully balanced, that it never diminish my pleasure, or damaging my ears in the process of listening. So I was confident in acquiring a second helping from this ensemble, and I was not disappointed, no, not at all. For even more as with the previous recording, the balance was well integrated into the structure of the music. I needed no persuasion to like it very much. This is truly wonderfully performed, and recorded. Even the fact that I have much of the music in other recordings, did not hold me back buying it, for Stile Antico adds many things to the music that with others lay dormant. This choir listens carefully to each other as not to overpower their neighbour, and so add to the consistency in dynamics, shading and tempi. Well balanced.
Recommended.




Bach, Johann Sebastian. (1685-1750) The Complete Works for Organ. The Isoir Edition. CD 3.

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