Stile Antico was formed by a group of recent Oxford and Cambridge graduates in 2001 – since its inception, the ensemble has worked without a conductor (even when tackling larger-scale works), and focuses mainly on Tudor and Jacobean repertoire, with a particular emphasis on music which grew out of the religious tensions in sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England.
Shortly after winning the Audience Prize at the early Music Network Young Artists’ Competition in York in 2005, Stile signed to Harmonia Mundi, releasing their debut album Music for Compline in 2007; the disc (which features music by Sheppard, Byrd and Tallis) won widespread acclaim, including a Schallplattenkritik Award, a Grammy nomination, a Diapason d’Or and a Choc du Monde de la Musique, and was described by Choir & Organ as ‘as near-perfect a recording as you will find of this repertoire’. They have remained with the label ever since, with subsequent albums including Heavenly Harmonies (2008), Song of Songs (2009), Puer natus est (2010), Tune thy Musicke to Thy Hart (2012), and Passion and Resurrection (which includes the group’s first commission and first foray into contemporary music, John McCabe’s Woefully Arrayed).
Further Reading: Stile Antico
Katherine talks to baritone Will Dawes about the group's latest recording, focusing on the music of the Italian-domiciled Flemish composer.