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 The sources for all the music on this recording, whether published or unpublished manuscripts, are Roman.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.