One can hardly think of Music in Rome without immediately being drawn to the work of the Sistine Chapel, an institution well-known for maintaining a philosophy for the pure performance of vocal music without instruments. The Papal choir was revered throughout Europe during the Renaissance period for authoritative expertise and performance capabilities with regard to Gregorian chant and polyphonic choral music. But the decades surrounding the turn of the 17th century brought many exciting and creative developments in the composition and performance of sacred music, leading to the advent of what we now call the Baroque period. The scope of this recording traces the evolution of musical trends at the Collegio Germanico and the manner by which they began to permeate sacred music across Europe. From Gregorian chant to Renaissance polyphony to grand-scale masterworks and intimate sacred duets, this repertoire illuminates the breathtaking depth of creativity born during this golden age of church music. The Duke Vespers Ensemble is a chamber choir based at Duke University Chapel in Durham, North Carolina. Consisting of members from the Duke and Triangle communities, the choir leads candlelit worship services every Thursday of the academic year and also participates in special services throughout the year, including one on All-Hallows Eve. Outside of their weekly Vespers services, the ensemble presents primarily early music concerts ranging from Baroque masterworks with period instruments to various Renaissance Mass and Requiem settings. They have also performed at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2013 and 2015. Brian Schmidt is a choral conductor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he serves as conductor of the Duke Vespers Ensemble and Duke Divinity School Choir. He is also the Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional chorus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Schmidt graduated from the University of North Texas, where he completed MM and DMA degrees under Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, and early music studies under Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey. The Mallarme Chamber Players are a flexible ensemble of professional musicians based in Durham, North Carolina. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Suzanne Rousso, the ensemble distinguishes itself through innovative educational programs, a strong commitment to creative collaboration, the commissioning of new works and a dedication to serving a diverse population. Created in 1984 by musicians Jane Hawkins and Anna Ludwig Wilson working with poet and arts administrator Margaret DeMott, the ensemble s name comes from Stéphane Mallarmé, the 19th-century French poet and philosopher who believed that art is created only through a unity of music, dance, literature and the visual arts. In keeping with their namesake, Mallarmé performances are often interdisciplinary and have been praised by critics and audiences as innovative, eclectic and expert. Considered one of the premier ensembles of its kind, the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, directed by Michael Holmes, consists of historic brass instrument specialists based in Washington D.C. Assemblages of cornets, curved hybrid brass-woodwind instruments, and sackbuts, early trombones, comprised what was the standard brass ensemble of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. With a large and growing membership, WCSE performs extensively in the Eastern United States with prominent historic vocal and instrumental groups and events of the Early Music community, including the Historic Brass Society Festival at Yale University.