The Tallis Scholars 

A Polyphonic Spree

Wednesday, Nov 28 2007

The ever-popular Tallis Scholars return to Los Angeles and Chamber Music in Historic Sites with another holiday program guaranteed to get us squarely in the Christmas spirit. Considered today’s premier a cappella early music vocal ensemble, the Scholars — who have been delighting the world with their rich and vibrant sounds since 1973 — are known as “the rock stars of Renaissance vocal music.” Given their staid, respectful stance, we’re not quite sure where that title came from, but suffice it to say that they’re the stars of medieval and renaissance polyphony, anyway. Performing at Hollywood United Methodist Church, a 1927 Gothic landmark whose interior is patterned after Westminster Hall in London’s Houses of Parliament and features 32 dramatic stained glass windows by the famed Judson Studios, the Scholars present a program titled “Poetry in Music for the Virgin Mary” that includes Palestrina’s rapturous Missa Nigra sum, motets by Josquin and Gallus, and evocative pieces calling us to accompany the shepherds as they sing a joyous “Noel!” heralding the birth of the Christ child. If there’s a better way to ring in the season, let us know. Hollywood United Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., Dec. 2, 4 p.m.; pre-concert talk at 3:15 p.m.; $39-$48. (213) 477-2929 or www.dacamera.org.

—Mary Beth Crain

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