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Pro Cantione Antiqua

Pro Cantione Antiqua is among the most honored and long-established vocal groups in the early music movement.

The 1960s were a period when pioneering singers followed the lead of instrumentalists (primarily in Britain, Austria and Germany, and Holland) to create ensembles devoted to researching and performing the long-forgotten treasure of Western music composed before the time of Bach and Handel, and it was in the middle of that decade that three British musicians and scholars founded Pro Cantione Antiqua in the mid-1960s. They were tenor James Griffett, countertenor Paul Esswood, and conductor Mark Brown, who were joined by conductor and musicologist Bruno Turner early on. The intent from the beginning was to make the group an ensemble of soloists, not just in the meaning that each singer took his own individual line in performance, but in the sense that they all had careers as professional solo singers. This blend of strength and beauty of each singer's tone, and the individuality each member brings to his part is responsible for the special quality of the PCA.

Their primary era of emphasis is the Renaissance era, the time of the richest outpouring of polyphonic composition in history. Since polyphony is an interplay of truly independent lines, the individuality of the singers on each part enhances the performance and helps guide the listener through the complex part-writing. Gramophone magazine wrote of its recording of motets of Francisco de Peñalosa (ca. 1470-1528), "Careful listening will teach you much about the essence of early sixteenth century polyphony."

In addition to its Renaissance repertory, the PCA also sing considerable amounts of Medieval music and, as a number of Early Music groups have done, developed an interest in recent trends in contemporary music. PCA have commissioned works from composers including Sir Lennox Berkeley, Ian Parrott, Colin Mawby, and Ivan Moody, and regularly include other contemporary music on their programs.

The PCA have toured extensively through Europe, the Far East, and Latin America. They have made over eighty CD albums and won several major disc awards. Film-goers have heard them singing an Arthur Sullivan part-song, "The Long Day Closes," as the title music of Terence Davies' 1992 film. The group have become particularly associated with the Monteverdi 1601 Vespers through performances with the early music groups Pro Cantione Antiqua, the Orchestra and Choir of the Golden Age, and His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornettes.

As well as being pioneers for the appreciation of Portuguese, Polish, Croatian and Jewish polyphony Pro Cantione Antiqua have taken a particular interest in Iberian Renaissance music. In 1999 they participated in concerts in Madrid and Seville honoring the 400th anniversary of Francisco Guerrero, scheduling concerts in Spain and Portugal in 2000 for creatively-planned programs linking and contrasting the Sixteenth Century music of Spain, Portugal, and England.

At that time the group comprised the following soloists, all, of them prominent soloists in recital and opera: Paul Esswood, Robin Tyson, James Bowman, Timothy Penrose, and Robert Harre Jones (countertenors), James Griffett, Ian Partridge, Joseph Cornwell, and Andrew King (tenors), and Stephen Roberts, Michael George, Adrian Peacock, and David Beavan (basses/baritones). ~ Joseph Stevenson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Canticum Canticorum

Title: Canticis Canticorum (Motets Book IV)
x

Track List: Giovanni Pierluigi Da Palestrina: Hymn: Aeterna Christi Munera; Missa Aeterna Christi Munera; Missa L'homme Arme 4vv

Disc 1
Title: Missa L'homme Armé, For 5 Voices
Title: Missa Assumpta Est Maria, For 6 Voices
Disc 2
Title: Feria V In Coena Domini

1. Feria V In Coena Domini: Lectio I

2. Feria V In Coena Domini: Lectio II

3. Feria V In Coena Domini: Lectio III

Title: Feria VI In Parasceve
Title: Sabbato Sancto

8. Sabbato Sancto: Lectio II

9. Sabbato Sancto: Lectio III

Disc 3
Title: Missa Brevis, For 4 Voices
Title: Missa Laude Sion, For 4 Voices
Title: Super Flumina Babylonis, Motet For 4 Voices (From Motets Book II For 4 Voices)
Title: Sicut Cervus, Motet For 4 Voices (From Motets Book II For 4 Voices)
Disc 4
Title: Hymm: Aeterna Christi Munero
Title: Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, For 4 Voices
Title: Missa L'homme Armé, For 4 Voices
Disc 5
Title: Missa Papae Marcelli, For 6 Voices
Title: Stabat Mater, Motet For 8 Voices
x

Track List: Music Of The Portuguese Renaissance: Motets By Morago And Melgás

Composer: Estevao Lopes Morago
Title: De Profundis

1. De Profundis: De Profundis

Title: Versa Est In Luctum

2. Versa Est In Luctum: Versa Est In Luctum

Title: Oculi Mei

3. Oculi Mei: Oculi Mei

Title: Laetentur Caeli

4. Laetentur Caeli: Laetentur Caeli

Title: Commissa Mea Pavesco

5. Commissa Mea Pavesco: Commissa Mea Pavesco

Composer: Diogo Dias Melgaz
Title: Lamentationes

6. Lamentationes: Lamentationes

Title: In Monte Oliveti

7. In Monte Oliveti: In Monte Oliveti

Title: O Vos Omnes

8. O Vos Omnes: O Vos Omnes

Title: Pia Et Dolorosa Mater

9. Pia Et Dolorosa Mater: Pia Et Dolorosa Mater

Title: In Ieiunio Et Fletu

10. In Ieiunio Et Fletu: In Ieiunio Et Fletu

Title: Memento Homo

11. Memento Homo: Memento Homo

Composer: Estevao Lopes Morago
Title: Montes Israel

12. Montes Israel: Montes Israel

Title: Parce Domine

13. Parce Domine: Parce Domine

Title: Revelabitur Gloria Domini

14. Revelabitur Gloria Domini: Revelabitur Gloria Domini

Title: Esto Mihi

15. Esto Mihi: Esto Mihi

Title: Exsurge

16. Exsurge: Exsurge

Composer: Diogo Dias Melgaz
Title: Ecce Ascendimus

17. Ecce Ascendimus: Ecce Ascendimus

Title: Adiuva Nos

18. Adiuva Nos: Adiuva Nos

Title: Ille Homo

19. Ille Homo: Ille Homo

Title: Ego Sum Resurrectio

20. Ego Sum Resurrectio: Ego Sum Resurrectio

Title: Magister Volumus

21. Magister Volumus: Magister Volumus

Title: Rex Tremendae Maiestatis

22. Rex Tremendae Maiestatis: Rex Tremendae Maiestatis

Title: Recordare Virgo Mater

23. Recordare Virgo Mater: Recordare Virgo Mater

Title: Salve Regina

24. Salve Regina: Salve Regina

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This reminds me of walking in St.Peter's in Rome...touch Peter's foot wore away by millions and see if you feel the energy

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