Saturday 9 October 2021, 7.30pm *
Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul
Church Lane, Tonbridge, TN9 1DA
Early music vocal ensemble, Stile Antico, opens our 2021-22 season with a programme particularly suited for these times, as we all look forward with hope after the last dark year.
“It’s never a good idea to miss a concert from this British vocal ensemble: there are no finer singers of early music.” (New York Times)
Toward the Dawn – A Musical Journey from Sunset to Sunrise
This programme charts a course from twilight to sunrise, echoing both the rhythms of church liturgy and the mediaeval experience of night, seductive and unsettling in equal measure. Taverner’s mighty Ave Dei Patris Filia, based on a chant for Matins, stands at the end of a delicious sequence of sacred music, chansons and madrigals by both English and Continental composers.
Wilbye Draw on sweet night
White Christe qui lux es IV
John Ward Come sable night
Sheppard In manual tuas
Allegri Miserere tui
The Small Hours
Morley Laboravi in gemiti
Lassus Toutes les nuits
Muhly Gentle Sleep
Tallis O nata lux
Monteverdi Ecco mormorar l’onde
Taverner Ave Dei Patris filia
“The singing is staggeringly beautiful” (The Sunday Times)
Standard ticket £20 | Under 18s & Students £5
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult
* Celebratory Welcome Reception for Benefactor Members at 6.30pm
(Guests welcome, suggested donation of £3)
Stile Antico is firmly established as one of the world’s most accomplished and innovative vocal ensembles. Working without a conductor, its twelve members have thrilled audiences on four continents with their fresh, vibrant and moving performances of Renaissance polyphony. Its bestselling recordings have earned accolades including the Gramophone Award for Early Music, Diapason d’or de l’année, Edison Klassiek Award, and Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. The group has received three Grammy® nominations, and performed live at the 60th Grammy® Awards at Madison Square Garden.
Based in London, Stile Antico has appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals. The group enjoys a particularly close association with Wigmore Hall, and has performed at the BBC Proms, Buckingham Palace, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Cité de la Musique, Luxembourg Philharmonie, and Leipzig Gewandhaus. Stile Antico is frequently invited to appear at Europe’s leading festivals: highlights include the Antwerp, Bruges, Utrecht and York Early Music Festivals, the Lucerne Easter Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival
Since its 2009 North American debut at the Boston Early Music Festival, Stile Antico has enjoyed frequent tours to the US and Canada. The group performs regularly in Boston and New York, and has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, Washington’s National Cathedral and Library of Congress, Vancouver’s Chan Centre, and in concert series spanning twenty-five US states. Stile Antico has also appeared in Mexico and Colombia, and in 2018 visited East Asia for the first time, performing in Korea, Macau and Hong Kong.
Stile Antico’s performances are often praised for their immediacy, expressive commitment, and their sensitive and imaginative response to text. These qualities arise from the group’s collaborative working style: members rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing artistically to the musical results. The group is also noted for its compelling programming, which often draws out thematic connections between works to shine new light on Renaissance music. In addition to its core repertoire, Stile Antico has premiered works by Joanna Marsh, John McCabe, Nico Muhly, Giles Swayne, and Huw Watkins. The group’s diverse range of collaborators includes Fretwork, the Folger Consort, Marino Formenti, B’Rock, Rihab Azar, and Sting.
Alongside its concert and recording work, Stile Antico is passionate about sharing its repertoire and working style with the widest possible audience, and its masterclasses and workshops are much in demand. As well as leading regular courses at the Dartington International Summer School, the group has been resident at Zenobia Música, and is often invited to work alongside ensembles at universities, festivals, and early music forums. The support of the charitable Stile Antico Foundation has enabled Stile Antico to expand its work with younger people, and to offer bursaries to talented young professional singers and ensembles.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stile Antico has thrown its energy into digital projects, producing a ‘virtual choir’ recording of Tallis’ Spem in Alium, a music film to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, and a series of lecture-recitals, Sundays with Stile, as well as giving live-streamed concerts from Wigmore Hall and the York Early Music Festival. In early 2021 the group gives further streamed concerts for Boston Early Music Festival, Live From London, and St Martin-in-the-Fields, and releases its first recording on the Decca Classics label, marking 500 years since the death of Josquin.