Early Music Now
Press Release

Stile Antico – Presented by Early Music Now

The Sensual made Spiritual in the Renaissance

By - Apr 4th, 2016 01:16 pm
Stile Antico. Photo courtesy of Early Music Now by Eric Richmond.

Stile Antico. Photo courtesy of Early Music Now by Eric Richmond.

“Sacred or Profane?” is a question that has spurred controversy across the centuries about what music is appropriate for worship – especially in the Renaissance, and still today.

Stile Antico, an ensemble of young British singers, explores that question on the closing concert of Early Music Now’s 29th season, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist on Saturday, April 16th, at 7:30. Well-established as one of the most original and accomplished new vocal ensembles in the early music field, the 12 singers perform as chamber musicians, without a conductor, each member contributing to the artistic result.

Tracing the blurred boundaries between sacred and secular music in the Renaissance period, the program contrasts risqué, racy chansons with their transformation into devout Masses and Magnificats, and the reworking of ribald folksongs into prayerful polyphony. Tunes by Anonymous, and Renaissance chansons by Jacob Clemens non Papa, Clément Janequin, Josquin des Prez, and Nicolas Gombert are made sacred by Mass and Magnificat settings of Guillaume Dufay, Orlando Lassus, Tomás Luis de Victoria, John Taverner, and Christóbal de Morales.

Interspersed among the Mass movements are madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi that were converted into sacred parodies by Aquilino Coppini in a 1607 collection, based on the works of several composers. Most shocking 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 these frankly erotic madrigals.

Complete program notes and texts for this 7:30 concert are available on the Early Music Now website. The concert location is 812 North Jackson Street. Due to the travel schedule of Stile Antico, there will not be a pre-concert lecture or reception. Stile Antico previously appeared on the Early Music Now series in December 2011.

Concert tickets may be purchased online at EarlyMusicNow.org, or by phone at 414.225.3113. Tier 1 seating is sold out. Tier 2 tickets are priced at $46 for adults/seniors and $15 for students. Tier 3 tickets are priced at $29 for adults/seniors and $10 for students. A 20% discount is available for groups of ten or more.

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