Polyphonic music from the Renaissance has been compared to an Italian dinner table in which everybody is simultaneously talking - and intently listening.
So when Piffaro, the Philadelphia Renaissance band, embarked on a program of music from Germany, the instruments were unusually talkative in that thorough Germanic way, creating a program with satisfying density (even some of the "anonymous" pieces had good fugal writing) while also giving folksy slices of village life.
Titled "Pfeiffern!", the program reminded that the group doesn't need some wonderful Belgian vocal quartet such as Capilla Flamenca (a periodic guest) to be at its best. Divided into nine sections, the Saturday concert at the Trinity Center for Urban Life had particularly good representation of the super-serious Ludwig Senfl (1486-1542), plus lighter songs and dances, and occasional readings on subjects such as the art of ringing church bells.