Renaissance Vocal Ensemble, Chanticleer, To Perform Pieces From Imperial Spain Cale Wiggins Monday, June 8, 2015 Chanticleer in performance at the Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes in 2007.Courtesy / Festival Of Saintes Named for the “clear singing rooster” from the Canterbury Tales, the San Francisco based all-male vocal ensemble Chanticleer has made Sacramento a regular stop on their performance schedule, much to the delight of local vocal votaries. A full-time ensemble since 1991, the group has garnered three Grammy awards, and been called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker, which is truly something to crow about. The group was founded in 1978 by Louis Botto. As a graduate student in musicology, Botto noticed that the medieval and renaissance music he was studying was rarely performed. Since then, Chanticleer has become a considerable force in the effort to preserve and promote early music. With more than forty albums under their collective belt, the group also keeps a very busy performance schedule. Chanticleer’s latest program (June 14, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Sacramento), Spanish Gold, focuses on music from the golden age of Imperial Spain. Following the discovery of the New World in 1492, Spain quickly became history’s first world power. By the close of the 16th century, their imperial tentacles had spread across the globe, but it was their holdings in the Americas, and the riches they took from them that truly fueled Spain’s vertiginous ascent to the top of the world order. Patronage began to flow freely to Spanish artists, and encouraged a rapid development of Spanish culture. Chanticleer will feature some of the fruit of this Spanish flowering, including works by Tomas Luis de Victoria, Cristobal de Morales, Francisco, Guerrero, Mateo Flecha, and more.