Andrew McAnerney’s erudite yet sensitive direction, full of contrasts and flexibility, shines a light on every aspect of these incredibly rich sacred scores.
★★★★ and half
Emmanuel Bernier, La Presse

The SMAM singers produce a clear, transparent sound which allows us to hear the remarkable linear qualities of this music. The texts are printed complete in the CD booklet, so it is easily possible to follow the words. The recording was made in September 2020, a shining testament to the fact that not all music making came to a halt during the Covid crisis. Highly recommended!
Howard Dyck, The Music Times

This is our nineteenth record and the second under the direction of Andrew McAnerney. The program features vocal works, accompanied by a few sackbuts, composed in the 15 th century by the early masters of what would become the great Franco- Flemish School: Guillaume Du Fay, Gilles Binchois, and Antoine Busnois – who worked in the Court of Burgundy – as well as their immediate successors, Johannes Ockeghem, Alexander Agricola, and Josquin des Prez. Note that this is the first time that the SMAM has drawn on a repertoire this old.


…the choir and soloists’ exquisite renderings throughout the CD bring the history to life, enhanced by organist Réjean Poirier’s performances of pieces from Livre d’orgue de Montréal.

Dianne Wells – The WholeNote

This album was first released in 1995 under the title Le Chant de la Jérusalem des terres froides on the French label K617 and is now re-released under the title Musique sacrée en Nouvelle-France on the ATMA label. It illustrates musical life during the French colonization of the Americas, when sacred music accompanied many daily activities.


«The singing is glorious and the disc is strongly recommended.»
Hans de Groot – The WholeNote
«McAnerney fait chanter son chœur de façon scintillante et vivante.»
Katholiek Nieuwsblad

Le Devoir

This new recording is dedicated to the memory of the late Christopher Jackson, SMAM’s founder and first director. Jackson, for whom Lassus was a favorite composer, launched this project as a concert in March 2015. This album is the second in a series of recordings of Lassus’ works and follows the first album Lagrime di San Pietro ATMA ACD2 2509, which was released in 2010. SMAM’s new conductor, Andrew McAnerney, completed the Laudate Dominum project and directs the ensemble on his first recording with the Studio.
The choral repertoire of the Renaissance generally offers four- to six-voice polyphony.

However, the great Orlande de Lassus, a life-long musician to the Dukes of Bavaria in Munich, made use of up to twelve voices in a few of his works, most of which were published posthumously by his sons in the Magnum opus musicum. This rich texture allows for sound effects, contradictions, and contrasts that enable the music to fully convey the meaning of the text.

ACD22746March, 2017


To mark his 40th anniversary, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal presents Terra tremuit featuring Antoine Brumel’s mass Et ecce terrae motus (Lo, the earth shook) for 12 voices. Considered to be the most original of his compositions, Et ecce terrae motus was probably written around 1497, and is preserved in a manuscript copy made by de Lassus for a performance in Munich in the 1570s, some 50 years after Brumel’s death. Also featured on this CD are motets by Jacobus Vaet and Thomas Crévillon, who belonged to the generation of Franco-Flemish masters that followed Brumel’s. Listeners will also discover Terra tremuit, a motet whose title alludes to the earthquake that marked the death of Jesus. Several great composers of the late Renaissance set this text to music, including G. P. da Palestrina, who was maestro di cappella at the Cappella Giulia, the papal choir at Saint Peter’s in Rome until his death in 1594; and William Byrd, organist at England’s Chapel Royal under both Elizabeth I and James I.

ATMA CLASSIQUE – ACD22653 © 2014


The monumental choral music on this recording was heard at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome over a period of two centuries. This music embodied the spirit of triumphant Catholicism as did the architectural projects of the Eternal City. This CD features rare polychoral compositions by great Renaissance composers: Giovanni de Macque (v.1550-1614); Roland de Lassus (v.1532-1594) Francesco Soriano (1549-1621); Vincenzo Ugolini (1570-1638); Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (1657-1743) and Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672).

ATMA CLASSIQUE – ACD22508 © 2011


ORLANDO DI LASSO : Sacred madrigals for seven voices

Prix Opus – record of the year (2010-2011) catégory medieval music, Renaissance period, baroque and classical music.

On May 24, 1594, three weeks before his death, Orlando di Lasso completed his last work, the Lagrime di San Pietro (Saint-Peter’s tears). It consists of 21 pieces for seven voices; 20 spiritual madrigals in Italian, and a final motet in Latin, sung a cappella. Di Lasso had produced a substantial body of work, demonstrated his mastery of all the musical genres of the Renaissance era, and was hailed by French poet Ronsard as “more than divine Orlando.” For several decades, he served the court of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria in Munich, and was held in high esteem by his employer, and by princes and musicians all over Europe.

ATMA CLASSIQUE – ACD2 2509 © 2009


Polychoral music in the churches of Rome and the Vatican.

By 1500, Rome had surpassed Florence as the artistic capital of Italy. The composers whose works you will hear on this hybrid SACD disc were those who brought the art of music to its finest levels in the high Renaissance, and who were foremost in the Counter-Reformation’s artistic response to Protestant asceticism. The sources for all the music on this recording, whether published or unpublished manuscripts, are Roman. The Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM), a group of 13 to 18 professional singers, is accompanied here by cello, organ, and theorbo. While specializing in Renaissance and Baroque music, SMAM is also known for performances of contemporary music. Christopher Jackson co-founded SMAM in 1974, and has been its artistic director since 1988. A noted organist and harpsichordist, he has been a leader in Montreal’s early music scene for more than 30 years.

ATMA CLASSIQUE – SACD2 2507 – 58:48 – © 2007


RISE O MY SOUL : Bull – Byrd – Gibbons – Simmes – Tomkins – Ward

Nominated at Prix Opus

Rise, O my soul features the combined forces of Le Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal and Les Voix humaines viol consort performing a selection of glorious English liturgical anthems from the reign of Elizabeth I. These full anthems, sung by a capella choir, and verse anthems, which include an instrumental accompaniment, take their texts from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the Bible.

“The highest quality of performance on early instruments that can be found in North America.” The Wholenote

ATMA CLASSIQUE –  ACD2 2506 – 60:00 © 2007


Motets for the holy-mass week at for choirs

Nominated at Prix Opus
This CD brings together Ensemble Stradivaria, one of France’s foremost Baroque string ensembles, and the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal with the Bande Montréal Baroque in a world-premiere recording of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s (1643-1704) Trois Grands Motets and Messe à 16 voix en 4 chœurs. These pieces have been especially edited for the Montreal Baroque Festival by the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. These choral works, including the 4-choir Messe, were recorded in hybrid multi-channel SACD.

ATMA CLASSIQUE – SACD 22338  – 62:00 – © 2005


At the time, around 1976, when Arvo Pärt’s oeuvre was about to be reborn in his newfound tintinnabular style, the enthusiasm mustered by the world of ancient music which was opening up around him in his native Estonia was to have, in his own words, “the effect of a midwife on my new music%22. The present release by ATMA is unique in that it rekindles that seminal atmosphere in performances of these stunning works–foremost among which the strikingly beautiful Stabat Mater–entirely on early instruments and at the Baroque pitch of A = 415 Hz. The profound voices of the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal choir and the Franz Joseph String Quartet also deliver two visions of Pärt’s famous setting of the Christian Creed, Summa, while the Quartet alone is heard in Fratres (originally composed for a string ensemble on early instruments) and the haunting miniature Psalom. Finally, star countertenor Daniel Taylor sings the telling ‘motet’ Es sang vor langen Jahren, on words by the German Romantic poet C.M. von Brentano.

ATMA CLASSIQUE -ACD2 2310 – 60:14 – © 2004


WORKS OF GIOVANNI GABRIELI and other compositors of his time on the theme of Nativity.

Giovanni Gabrieli’s works could be considered the summit of musical expression of the Renaissance, the dramatic climax of three centuries of polyphonic writing. Born in Venice in 1557, he studied among others with Roland de Lassus in Munich before returning to Venice in 1580. From 1584 until his death in 1612, Gabrieli was organist at St Mark’s Basilica. His compositions feature the use of several choirs opposing each other on different sides of the church. Supple, free, and effective, his music had a very immediate impact on the listener; a creator of the concertantestyle, Gabrieli’s sense of colour and spatial layout makes him perhaps one of the first musicians of the Baroque Era. Centred around the theme of the Nativity and the Holy Family, the hymns by Gabrieli and other composers from the same period are luxuriant works richly performed here by the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal choir and a wonderful phalanx of sackbut and cornetto players: a beautiful world of sounds for Christmas.

ATMA CLASSIQUE – ACD2 2311 – 60:03 – © 2003



In the period between 1550 and about 1650, no state or realm played the game of accruing prestige through music and spectacle better than the city-state of Venice. The city was incredibly rich, made so by the trade between Europe and the Near and Far East that it had historically controlled. No other court, realm or municipality during this period produced music of such splendor, such consistent high quality, and which was so well designed to showcase the stunning virtuosity ot the singers and instrumentalists performing it as did the composers in Venice.

CBC Records/Les disques SRC – MVCD 1146 – 59:06 – © 2002


Réédition (paru précédemment sous le titre Le chant de la Jérusalem des terres froides K617 052 © 1995)

Voici le baroque de la Nouvelle-France, né dans le sillage de l’aventure colonisatrice de Champlain. Les œuvres polyphoniques qui se chantaient dans les cathédrales de «la belle province», mais aussi, les stupéfiants motets Abénaquis écrits par les jésuites à partir d”œuvres de Campra et Du-Mont. L’une des plus fascinantes étapes des «Chemins du Baroque».

 K 617 128 – 77:53 – © 2001


WORKS of Mouton, Gombert, Lassus, Morales, Palestrina et Victoria

Prix Félix 1999 (ADISQ)
Nominated at Prix Juno

The title of this disc, Heavenly Spheres, referred to an certain celestial order, achieved through an interpretation of masterpieces choirs polyphoniques of the Renaissance. This album combines some masterpieces a capella of Giovanni Palestrina, Orlande de Lassus and Josquin des Prés, as well as any compositors less known whose Jean Mouton and Giaches de Wert.

CBC Records – MVCD 1121 – 63:21 – ©1998


MISSA “UT, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA” and other sacred works

Nominated at Prix Félix (ADISQ)
Nominated at Prix Juno

Palestrina’s celebrated church songs are a sheer spiritual revelation, ineffably moving, captivating those who hear them…
If he may not be the most original or daring composer of the Renaissance, Palestrina ranks among his contemporaries as a composer with astonishing polyphonic skill. As a great classical master, Palestrina is well-placed among those who took the techniques of their time to unsurpassed heights.

Analekta – FL 2 3120 – 57:50 – © 1997



Henry Desmarets, sans doute l’un des plus grands compositeurs français du Grand-Siècle. Sa vie amoureuse l’oblige à quitter Versailles où il allait succéder à Lully et l’on retrouve Desmarest à Nancy et Lunéville, Maître de Chapelle du Duc Léopold. Le présent enregistrement rend enfin justice à ce génie.

«Cette production est caractérisée par l”équilibre entre tous. Les chœurs sont remarquables de transparence et de précision contrapuntique.»

K617 – 053 (2 cd) – © 1995 Ce coffret n’est malheureusement plus disponible sur le marché.


Musique sacrée en Nouvelle-France au XVIIe siècle : messes polyphoniques d’Henri Frémart et d’Artus Aux-Cousteaux, chants et chœurs en langue abénaquise, extraits du Livre d’orgue de Montréal
Voici le baroque de la Nouvelle-France, né dans le sillage de l’aventure colonisatrice de Champlain. Les œuvres polyphoniques qui se chantaient dans les cathédrales de «la belle province», mais aussi, les stupéfiants motets Abénaquis écrits par les jésuites à partir d’œuvres de Campra et Du-Mont. L’une des plus fascinantes étapes des «Chemins du Baroque».

«Un émouvant écho de la musique en Nouvelle-France […] d’un indéniable intérêt historique et même musical […] l’exécution chorale est exemplaire.» – Claude Gingras, La Presse, 22 septembre 1995

052 – 77:53 – © 1995


(Jonas, Jephté de G. Carissimi; le Reniement de saint Pierre de M.-A. Charpentier)

Nominated for a price of l’ADISQ
This admirable and pleasant music was played only on Fridays during Lent, from three to six o’clock. […] Each singer played the role of a biblical character and perfectly expressed the meaning of the words.

Analekta FL 2 3053 53:45 © 1995

(also published under label Disques ATMA Records ATM 2 9732 © 1995)


HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ BIBER Music of Vêpres for soloists, choir and orchestra.

“The musicans […] they reach a very high artistic level […] and show who they have perfectly understood the italian vocal style [employed by Biber].” – Enrico Manzato, Musica Eccezionade, june/july 1994

REM – 311207 – 36:37 – © 1993

Unfortunately, this compact disc is no longer on the market.



The Christmas Oratorio is one of Heinrich Schütz most fascinating masterpieces.

Unfortunately, this compact disc is no longer on the market