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Thursday, November 20, A.D. 2008
Anonymous 4

In high school, when I first began to explore pre-modern music outside of church services, I became a fan of the women’s chant and polyphony group, Anonymous 4. If you are not familiar with medieval or Renaissance Western music, you will still find them somewhat familiar due, I think, to Christmas and hymnal traditions that have preserved a bit of that sound in our contemporary culture. Anonymous 4’s work is astoundingly beautiful. English speakers frequently abuse the adjective “angelic” but it suits the music of Anonymous 4 very well.

I highly recommend their albums. I love them all, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be Miracles of Sant’iago: Music from the Codex Calistinus. On Harmonia Mundi’s web site, you can listen to samples of their recordings.

Here is “Congaudeant Catholici” from their Miracles of Compostela:

If you like Anonymous 4, you may wish to explore other medieval and Renaissance works, as well. You ought then to consider the works of William du Fay, Josquin des Prez, and Giovanni da Palestrina, which are relatively easy to find and quite remarkable. Below is “Ave Maris Stella” by William du Fay.

The West has its splendor. I wonder if it can retain it.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, November 20, Anno Domini 2008
Music | Folk MusicHigh Culture MusicSacred MusicComments
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