STILE ANTICO — Special Appearance, One Performance!

Stile Antico 2010 Photo: Marco Borggreve
Photo: Marco Borggreve

The singing is staggeringly beautiful —Sunday Times (London)

Sacred or Profane?
The Sensual Made Spiritual in the Renaissance

They say that the Devil has all the best tunes, and it’s hard to disagree on hearing this enthralling program.

As Stile Antico traces the blurred boundary between sacred and secular music in the Renaissance, we encounter risqué, racy chansons transformed by Lassus, Morales and Victoria into devout Masses and Magnificats, and ribald folksongs worked into prayerful polyphony by Dufay and Taverner.  Most shockingly of all, and in spite of the Church’s disapproval, it was none other than the Cardinal of Milan who commissioned sacred texts to be fitted to some of Monteverdi’s most frankly erotic madrigals, crowning this survey of three centuries of superb music.

Stile Antico has been described as “the world’s best possible ambassadors” for the repertoire of Renaissance polyphony (The Arts Desk). Working without a conductor, its twelve members have dazzled audiences throughout Europe and North. The group’s best-selling recordings on the Harmonia Mundi label have earned accolades including the Gramophone Award for Early Music, the Diapason d’or de l’année, the Edison Klassiek Award, the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and have twice received Grammy nominations. Their most recent album released in the fall 2015, A Wondrous Mystery, placed #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart and #2 on Billboard’s Top Classical Chart.

In their program, Stile Antico will explore the way some composers often turned secular music – folk songs, chansons and madrigals, some of them extremely earthy in character – into religious pieces, far removed from the spirit of the originals. The ensemble will perform both the secular works and their sacred counterparts, offering a fascinating and unexpected window onto the way that music was perceived in the Renaissance period.

SUNDAY, April 10, 2016 4PM
First Congergational Church of Berkeley
Dana at Durant, Berkeley

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Anon: L’homme armé
Dufay: Kyrie from Missa l’homme armé

Monteverdi/Coppini: O Jesu mea vita

Clemens non Papa:  Entre vous filles de quinze ans
Lassus:  Gloria from Missa Entre vous filles

Janequin: La guerre
Victoria:  Credo from Missa pro victoria

Monteverdi/Coppini:  Plorat amare


Anon:  Westron Wynde
Taverner: Sanctus & Benedictus from Western Wynde Mass

Monteverdi/Coppini: Rutilante in nocte

Josquin:  Milles regretz
Morales: Agnus dei from Missa milles regretz

Monteverdi/Coppini:  O mi fili, mea vita Jesu

Gombert: Mort et fortune
Lassus: Magnificat tertii toni super Mort et fortune

San Francisco Early Music Society