18.08.14 19:30, Trinity College Chapel, Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1TQ; £25, £20

http://www.cambridgeearlymusic.org/Concert-2014-August-StileAntico.php

In a thrillingly contrasted programme, the peerless vocal ensemble Stile Antico explores fascinating parallels between two composers working four centuries apart: William Byrd and James MacMillan. Byrd, a member of a persecuted Catholic community, expressed his faith ardently and defiantly in his music. No lesser fervour and spiritual conviction is found in the work of MacMillan, writing for his beloved Catholic church in the face of what he terms “secular fundamentalism”. Just as Byrd conceived much of his music for the secret Masses he attended, so MacMillan has written prolifically for the liturgy at his own church of St Columba’s, Maryhill; our programme alternates these accessible, open-hearted Strathclyde motets with Byrd’s dazzling liturgical cycle Gradualia. Crowning this memorable juxtaposition is Byrd’s longest and perhaps greatest work, Infelix ego.

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