Harmonia Early Music

The English Renaissance with Stile Antico and the Brabant Ensemble

Choral music from England, including Stile Antico's exploration of composer John Sheppard and the Brabant Ensemble's offerings from the Chirk Castle Part-Books.

men and women in black with white background

Photo: Courtesy of the Ensemble

Members of the young British ensemble Stile Antico.

Media Vita

John Sheppard is a composer from the English Renaissance who wrote mainly for the church, including English anthems and Latin motets. The award-winning British vocal ensemble Stile Antico devotes their new Harmonia Mundi recording entirely to Sheppard, putting together a program that combines some of his finest choral pieces.

Stile Antico has received quite a bit of international acclaim since their debut album. Their latest, entitled “Media vita,” is sure to inspire more praise. Beautifully delivered, the ensemble draws out wondrous sonorities from Sheppard’s lush and complex writing.

The Chirk Castle Part-Books

Chirk Castle is located in North Wales. At two points during the 17th Century, the castle owners compiled books of choral music to sustain a modest chapel of singers. Somehow the books managed to survive mostly intact through the 20th-century. They contain a wealth of choral music from the English Renaissance, including composers Thomas Tallis, Christopher Tye, John Sheppard, and others.

The Brabant Ensemble’s recent Hyperion label recording focuses on select unaccompanied pieces from the Chirk Castle part-books, exploring previously known works alongside ones found only in the books. Their excellent performance evokes a mood unique to Tudor church music—somber and meditative.

Music Heard On This Episode

John Sheppard: Anthem “Christ rising again”
Stile Antico — Media Vita and other liturgical works (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
John Sheppard: Anthem “Christ rising again”
Stile Antico — Media Vita and other liturgical works (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
John Sheppard: Anthem “I give you a new commandment”
Stile Antico — Media Vita and other liturgical works (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
John Sheppard: Hymn “Te Deum”
Stile Antico — Media Vita and other liturgical works (Harmonia Mundi , 2010)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Thomas Caustun: “Yield unto the mighty Lord”
The Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice — Music from the Chirk Castle Part-Books (Hyperion, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
William Mundy: “Te Deum”
The Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice — “Blessed are all they that fear the Lord” (Hyperion, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Christopher Tye: “Blessed are all they that fear the Lord”
The Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice — Music from the Chirk Castle Part-Books (Hyperion, 2009)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Harmonia Early Music:

More Subscription Options

Follow Us

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Harmonia Early Music

About The Hosts

Search Harmonia Early Music

where to hear harmonia