The Cantiones Press was founded in 1996 to provide attractive and authoritative editions of Renaissance choral music. The majority of works in our catalogue have either not previously been published at all, or cannot be obtained in formats which are financially viable for choirs and consorts. Each work is presented in a clear, uncluttered style, along with an introduction which gives valuable background to the music and a guide to the editorial processes by which the edition has been shaped. Our publications are therefore welcomed both by professional and amateur groups; by those with a specialist interest in the repertoire, and those who simply want to investigate exciting and intriguing new areas of choral music.
All the editions published by The Cantiones Press are informed by the experience of rehearsing and performing the works with professional and amateur ensembles. Problematic issues such as pitch of performance and word underlay have therefore been treated in a way which is sympathetic to performers. For those who want a bit more of a challenge there is our Ars Subtilior series, which presents the music in authentic, period notation: the performer becomes editor and executor!
All titles are available in A4 format for concert performance and most are alternatively available in octavo format for church and cathedral use.
The Cantiones Press currently has seven imprints, covering a wide variety of choral music:
Gardane Imprint presents music from 16th and early 17th Century Italy, the home not only of Palestrina and the Gabrielis, but of more neglected masters such as Adrian Willaert. Named after the famous Venetian music printer, Antonio Gardane, this imprint celebrates the classical artistry and splendour of Italian polyphony.
The variety and devotional intensity of the Franco-Flemish repertoire is represented by our Chigi Imprint. The beautiful deluxe Chigi Codex is one of the most important monuments to 15th century music, and among our publications are highlights from this manuscript by Ockeghem, Josquin and Isaac. Future editions will extend this range to include gems from the 16th century repertoire.
The Vautrollerius Imprint is of music from Renaissance England and takes its name from Thomas Vautrollier who came to London to assist Thomas Tallis and William Byrd in England's first major publishing venture: The Cantiones Sacrae of 1575. This publication, a joint venture between Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, put English publishing on the map and provides the single authoritative source for much of Tallis's output. Currently Thomas Tallis and Robert White are represented in the imprint whilst works from other major figures of the time - John Sheppard, William Mundy and Robert Parsons - are in preparation.
The Spanish repertoire surely holds the greatest number of undiscovered glories of the 16th century. Whilst the music of Tomas Luis de las Victoria is well known, this is often at the expense of his great contemporaries such as Francisco Guerrero. The Capilla Real Imprint is seeking to explore the music of such neglected masters and to newly discoverd composers such as Don Fernando de las Infantas. Music from this series proved popular in 1998 the anniversary year of Philip II and in 1999 for Guerrero's 400th anniversary.
It has long been our belief that, while editions of Renaissance music are a practical necessity, a great deal of insight and enjoyment can be derived from exploring the music in its authentic, period notation. The Ars subtilior Imprint is designed to give performers just such an opportunity for exploration. No experience of Renaissance notation is required before you start: a comprehensive guide to the meaning of the notation accompanies each work, which appears in three versions - a facsimile of the original, a "half-way-house" version, and a full, modern transcription.
Finally the 21st Century and Chapel Royal Imprints provide a number of pieces which represent the best of contemporary sacred composition. This is contemporary choral music that will be of interest to choirs who also enjoy the renaissance repertoire, particularly those in churches and cathedrals.