The Renaissance was a time of "rebirth" in Europe (beginning in Italy) which lasted from about 1450-1600. During this time there was renewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman culture. Works were being translated, including books about music, and scholars, artists, writers, and musicians were greatly influenced.
Learn more about these composers/pieces and more in the course Music Appreciation: Middle Ages through Classical Era. I have chosen some choral music for to listen to below. There are madrigals and instrumental music in the full course as well.
Listen to Johannes Ockeghem: Missa Au Travail Suis
Josquin Desprez: Ave Maria
Josquin Desprez: Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli
Heinrich Isaac: "O Welt, ich muß dich lassen"