Camerata Nova was founded in 1996 as an 'a cappella' choral ensemble led by Andrew Balfour. The group of ten singers specializes in Renaissance music but enjoys stretching the boundaries of this period to offer it's listeners an eclectic array of works from across centuries and continents. In fact, our debut recording does just that: it covers almost one millennium of choral music. The 21 selections you will find on this CD are drawn from our past few seasons and journeys into the history of the glorious part-singing tradition. The European Renaissance represents some of the most highly formed musical ideas in the history of vocal music. The musical form of polyphony was the celestial icing that so suited the sacred and festive nature of Renaissance culture. Voices singing seamless musical lines superimposed over each other added a dimension of spiritual awareness to the great celebrations of Renaissance liturgy. It also complemented the predominantly Gregorian tradition of chanting that was so much a part of the musical heritage of the ancient Western Christian church. Vocal polyphony in the Latin rite enjoyed a period of 150 years of glory before the dominating European musical form was transformed by the Baroque ideals of counterpoint and melodic line. In that time, the nations of Europe had refined their own choral traditions that reached their zenith in the late 16th and early 17th-century. The publishing and widespread distribution of music in the 100 years before had an immense impact on the exchange of musical ideas throughout Europe and even into the new world. In the early part of the 20th century, musicologists compiled and published a large amount of material that had remained unsung for centuries. The "early-music revival" of the present day has re-opened the doors on a long-lost art. The exciting aspect for performers of this music is that the repertoire is huge, and there is still so much more out there to be unearthed, sung and enjoyed.