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Song of Songs (Hybr) Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import, April 14, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Song of Songs has already won the 2009 Gramophone Award for the Early Music. "This collection of settings by composers including Palestrina, Guerrero, Gombert, Victoria and Lassus of words from the biblical Song of Songs was a sumptuous and beautifully performed highlight of last year's choral releases. - Gramophone.

Amazon.com

As the title suggests, this recording is a compilation of renaissance compositions using texts from the Song of Solomon, the biblical collection of love poetry, purportedly written by King Solomon to a Shulamite girl. Many groups have fished in this pool before, but Stile Antico's repertoire choices and exquisite program notes (written by Matthew O'Donovan, one of the basses) draw a well delineated link between the surge in medieval popularity and the suitability of these texts for the purposes of the Marian 'cult' that portrayed the Virgin Mary as the representation of the church as a whole. This album holds together as a concert and a concept better than any other attempt at this repertoire that I have heard but Stile Antico really set themselves apart when they perform. These musicians work without a conductor, which is common practice for chamber instrumentalists, but uncommon in a group of this size. Perilous as the concept might sound for a group of singers, I've never heard musicians present this repertoire with such a high level of commitment. This music has seldom been more engaging. -- Hugo Munday

1. Ego Flos Campi for 7 voices
2. Osculetur me, motet for 5 voices (from Motets Book IV from Canticis canticorum)
3. Dum Esset Rex, antiphon
4. Surge Propera Amica Mea
5. Quam pulchra es, for 4 voices
6. Nigra sum, antiphon
7. Veni dilecte mi, motet for 5 voices, M. viii (S. v/124)
8. Vadam, et circumibo civitatem, motet for 6 voices
9. Tota pulchra es, alleluia in mode 1 (GR 630)
10. Ego flos campi, for 8 voices
11. Nigra Sum Sed Formosa
12. Laeva ejus, antiphon
13. Hortus Conclusus
14. Nigra sum, motet for 5 voices (from Motets Book IV from Canticis canticorum)
15. Speciosa facta es, antiphon
16. Veni dilecte mi, motet
17. Trahe me post te, Virgo Maria, motet for 5 voices
18. Jam hiems transit, antiphon
19. Vidi speciosam, motet for 6 voices

Product Details

  • Performer: Stile Antico
  • Conductor: none
  • Composer: Palestrina, Gombert, Lassus, Victoria
  • Audio CD (April 14, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B001NZA02O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,124 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Heather A. Teysko VINE VOICE on May 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't familiar with Stile Antico until a recent Harmonia Early Music podcast where Music for Compline, their other album, was recommended. By the end of the next hour, I had downloaded all three of their albums from emusic. If you are a fan of either early music, or chamber choirs, Stile Antico is another group that must be part of your regular rotation, taking a rightful spot next to the Sixteen, Tallis Scholars, etc.

The group works without a conductor, which means that they need to listen to each other much more carefully, and time themselves with each other rather than relying on direction from a leader. It makes the whole choir function much more as an organic living being rather than a series of parts going together.

I particularly like this album as there's a lot of under-recorded music on it - not the same old standby pieces that make up so many early choral albums.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Cometkazie on April 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A chance glance at Stile Antico's CD Music for Compline while browsing evoked a second look and subsequent purchase. It was immediately obvious upon listening that this group was special and this CD makes a superb trio.

Each of the ensembles performing this type of music has its own appeal to me. It seems to me I am better able to separate out the individual voices of this group. I don't know if this is due to the way it was recorded or of the ensemble itself, but I have no complaint.

The music is ravishingly beautiful. Do yourself a favor and purchase it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Juan C. Garay on October 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I remember reading an interview with the singers of early music quartet Anonymous 4 in which they complained about critics saying that they sang "too lovingly". Is it possible to be over-sweet in music? Well, the idea kept in the back of my mind until recently I heard this performance by Stile Antico. Speaking of songs directly inspired by "the most profane book of the Old Testament" (i'm quoting the liner notes), my only complaint is that these guys sing too heavenly. This is almost erotic poetry we're talking about, and sometimes while listening to the CD I feel as if I'm attending mass.
On the other hand, the album won a Gramophone Award and I respect the jury's discernment: the interpretation is blended and balanced, as they say. But if you want to contrast this with a sassier version of some of these songs, try Les Voix Baroques album "Canticum Canticorum", luscious from its cover to the whole musical approach.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Sims-Day on August 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was so impressed with the phenomenal sound bites that I heard on NPR, but the full length cd is absolutely out of this world! The music carries my spirit to a higher plane of existence. Very nice way to calm the soul while commuting. Helps me avoid road rage.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is Stile Antico's third disc and the first in which they have moved outside English repertoire. It is well up to the excellent standard of their first two.

The programme is a selection of settings of verses by various composers from the Song of Songs, which the sleeve notes describe as the most "profane" (for which read "erotic") book of the Bible. Used by composers to represent the love of God and of Mary, the texts are often intense, often passionate and speak of beauty, all of which is represented in the magnificent music presented here. It is a rich and varied programme, and the variety of composing styles makes it a really rewarding disc.

The performances are very good indeed. Stile Antico are increasingly regarded as among the top ensembles for this repertoire and their quality is well in evidence here: flawless intonation, a real empathy with music and text and a lovely, rich vocal blend. The acoustic is quite resonant which gives a rounded sound in which individual lines are not always completely distinct but whose overall effect is very lovely. Quite a few of these motets have been recorded by truly great ensembles like the Tallis Scholars and the Hilliard Ensemble; these versions stand up very well beside them, which is high praise indeed.

Harmonia Mundi's recorded sound is excellent and the packaging and notes are very good. It's a really cracking disc and recommended in the warmest terms.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By spenst on July 19, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Very beautiful and relaxing. Just sitting and reading a good book or just letting your mind wonder with this in the background is most relaxing. This is chamber music at its finest and for the price, you can't lose. Enjoy
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tusube on September 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I bought this after hearing bits of it on NPR. Choral music isn't something I usually like, but this album is beautiful. It is very peaceful and brings to mind ripples on an almost-frozen lake on a clear, sunny winter's day.
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By jan on August 10, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fantastic, just gave a copy away to a friend who loves it too.
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