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  • Heavenly Harmonies: Music of Byrd & Tallis
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Heavenly Harmonies: Music of Byrd & Tallis Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import


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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import, March 11, 2008
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Video Stile Antico - Passion & Resurrection

Biography

Stile Antico is an ensemble of young British singers, now established as one of the most original and exciting new voices in its field. Much in demand in concert, the group performs regularly throughout Europe and North America. Their recordings on the Harmonia Mundi label have enjoyed great success, winning awards including the Diapason d'Or de l'année and the Preis der ... Read more in Amazon's Stile Antico Store

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Product Details

  • Performer: Stile Antico
  • Composer: William Byrd, Thomas Tallis
  • Audio CD (March 11, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B0011FEGXU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,604 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 3, Why fum'th in fight - Thomas Tallis
2. Liber primus sacrarum cantionum: Vigilate - William Byrd
3. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 5, E'en like the hunted hind - Thomas Tallis
4. Liber primus sacrarum cantionum: Ne irascaris Domine - William Byrd
5. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 2, Let God arise - Thomas Tallis
6. Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? - William Byrd
7. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 6, Expend, O Lord - Thomas Tallis
8. Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Infelix ego - William Byrd
9. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 8 'Tallis Canon' - Thomas Tallis
10. Laetentur coeli - William Byrd
11. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 1, Man blest no doubt - Thomas Tallis
12. Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Quis est homo? - William Byrd
13. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: Come, Holy Ghost 'Tallis's Ordinal' - Thomas Tallis
14. Gradualia, Volume 2: Spiritus Domini - William Byrd
15. Gradualia, Volume 2: Confirma hoc, Deus - William Byrd
16. Factus est repente - William Byrd
17. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 7, Why brag'st in malice - Thomas Tallis
18. Cantiones sacrae, Bk 1: Tribulationes civitatum - William Byrd
19. Psalm Tunes (9) for Mister Parker: no 4, O come in one to praise the Lord - Thomas Tallis
20. Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Laudibus in sanctis - William Byrd

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
If you enjoy poliphonic and reflexive music, this is for you.
capezio
Stile Antico have once again released a concert in which the strife of two clashing religious cultures is reflected in the music, creating a splendid musical tension.
Michael Birman
I've listened to this CD on headphones many times and gloried in both the actual music, and the astonishing teamwork of this group.
hemison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Their first cd - Music for Compline - introduced a young Renaissance ensemble capable of creating vocal harmonies of pristine beauty while obviously relishing the musical perfection they created with a joy bordering on ecstasy: perfect for deeply religious music. Their striking ability to convey the ecstatic religious vision is what made that initial release so memorable. Their second CD release is an even deeper, more personal exploration of the fascinating leitmotif that distinguished the Music for Compline.

The Elizabethan era was marked by religious turmoil that roiled the realm: the Catholicism of the late Queen Mary, now officially suppressed under Elizabeth, was still selectively tolerated, producing profound social tensions that were reflected in the lives and music of two of England's finest composers, William Byrd and Thomas Tallis. Byrd's Catholicism is powerfully evident in his Motets, which were written for recusant Catholics, practicing their faith in secret, forced to furtively celebrate Mass in hidden rooms where priests lived concealed, often for years. Byrd's masterful setting of the Motets' Latin texts usually contained subversive political overtones, messages not lost on those risking all by still embracing an outlawed faith. The Motets brilliantly explore the expressive capabilities of choral polyphony with a response to the emotional qualities of the text that is deeply sensuous: featuring satiny vocal textures and lush harmonies of aching beauty that hint at the loss of paradise and a mingling of sorrow and hope.

Tallis wrote his psalm tunes in 1567, a paradigm of the Protestant musical aesthetic, with their vocal austerity in which the clarity of the biblical words is essential. There is no need for concealment here, everything is illuminated.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jay Young on June 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I thoroughly enjoyed Stile Antico's previous album, "Music for Compline," and was delighted when I found out about their new release, "Heavenly Harmonies." Fans of the group's previous album will not be disappointed in this one, which definitely lives up to the title of "Heavenly Harmonies."

The tracks alternate between selections from Archbishop Parker's Psalter by Tallis and motets by Byrd. Tallis originally wrote the psalm-tune settings as functional church pieces, and they usually don't have much inspirational power. Stile Antico, however, has an uncanny ability to breathe new life into old music. They are a group of around 13 young singers with no conductor, and their fresh perspective on early music makes listening to it a pleasure. The Byrd motets are similarly well-performed.

In my review of "Music for Compline," I gave lots of praise and favorable comparisons of Stile Antico to the Tallis Scholars, which need not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that Stile Antico is more than capable of giving the Tallis Scholars a run for their money as the premier early music acapella vocal ensemble.

I highly recommend "Heavenly Harmonies," which is peaceful, uplifting, and beautiful.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christopher R. Gillespie on May 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are good performances in a terrific acoustic. The CD Layer is terrific but the SACD 5.0 layer is phenomenal. The disc lags a bit through the duration. The first cuts are well worth the price. Their Music for Compline disc is more captivating but may just be my personal sensibilities.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first things a listerner with a surround sound system will probably notice is the sumptuousness of separation, the crystal clarity of voices, and the majesty of polyphony. In alternating sequence of Thomas Tallis psalm tunes and William Byrd motets, this nearly 79-minute hybrid SACD/CD album is another grand contribution of Stile Antico to early music interpretations. The compositions, I was surprised to learn, were meant for home gatherings, not the church and cathedral. Thus, the tunes are fairly straight forward without complex counterpoint. The emphasis is on the words and, in many cases in the Bryd pieces, their specific meaning for Catholics, who were suppressed in Tudor times. Fortunately, we are spared neighborhood choristers and instead hear top professionals. The sopranos seem to soar above the clouds. While I prefer complexities and innovations in music, these sacred tunes, besides their religious and political history, have dignity and serenity.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hemison on August 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Fabulous recording - Stile Antico are simply one of the best groups around at this moment in time, and I love their interpretations of this music. I've listened to this CD on headphones many times and gloried in both the actual music, and the astonishing teamwork of this group. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 21, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of Tallis and Byrd this is a no brainer. The sound of Stile Antico is best characterized by the title of the recording. The group's mastery of the music and texts as well as incredible blend and musicianship does indeed create nothing less than heavenly harmonies. I actually have heard them in concert and the recording here is a perfect reflection of that live experience. This music is not for everybody, but if you delight in the a cappella polyphony and hymnody of the Tudor period, you will surely not be disappointed.
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