Best Classical Music - 2010
San Francisco Renaissance Voices
Oh, so you think you know classical music just because you've heard a little Mozart, is that right? Think you once listened to a Bach cello suite and now you know what it's all about? Got some Vivaldi under your belt and you're acting like it's a big deal? Kid, if you don't know the San Francisco Renaissance Voices, you don't know nuthin'. There's a massive tradition of a cappella polyphonous music across Western culture, and the SFRV is the only show in town that brings you the good stuff. Flemish composer Josquin des Prez (1450–1521), Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611), English music master Thomas Tallis (of whom William Byrd wrote in 1585, "Tallis is dead, and Music dies.") — for centuries, names like these were synonymous with great music. The SFRV performs these classics from the golden age of European polyphony the way they were meant to be heard: large ensemble voices lifting the soul for sacred moments. Living history doesn't get any better.