Early music a capella

The Irvine Barclay Theatre will host the Tallis Scholars, regarded as one of the finest a capella a capella early music groups in the world, at 3 p.m. Sunday at the theater, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine.

Referred to by the New York Times as the “rock stars of Renaissance vocal music,” the Tallis Scholars have spent more than 35 years introducing early (pre-Baroque) music to the masses.

The group will perform Christmas music including early English and German carols, along with pieces from liturgies past.

Director Peter Phillips founded and tasked the group with bringing out every detail of Renaissance sacred and folk music, both polyphonic and single-voiced, while performing the music exactly as it was written.

Named after Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis, the Tallis Scholars have performed around the world, and have released many recorded albums.

A highlight of their career was a performance in the Sistine Chapel in 1994, to mark the complete restoration of Michelangelo’s frescoes.

The Sunday performance will include Josquin des Prez’s “Missa De Beata Virgine,” followed by John Nesbett’s “Magnificat,” Thomas Tallis’ “Tunes for Archbishop Parker’s Psalter,” and ends with three pieces by William Byrd: “Ye Sacred Muses,” “Tribulationes civitatum,” and “Vigilate.”

Tickets are $23; for more information, call (949) 854-4646 or visit thebarclay.org.

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