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William Byrd (1540(?)-1623)

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Byrd - 3 Masses

Byrd - 3 Masses


Byrd:

Mass for three voices

Mass for four voices

Mass for five voices


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

Decca Rosette Collection - 4767090

(Presto CD)

$11.50

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Byrd Edition Volume 1

Byrd Edition Volume 1

Early Latin Church Music - Propers for Lady Mass in Advent


Byrd:

Domine quis habitabit

Omni Tempore Benedic Deum

Christe Redemptor

Sermone Blando

Miserere mei

Ne Perdas Cum Impiis

Lamentatione Jeremiae Prophetae

Propers for Lady Mass in Advent a5

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Christe qui Lux

Sanctus a3

Audivi Vocem De Caelo a5

Vide Domine quoniam tribulor

Peccavi Super Numerum


“This is a great start to The Cardinall's Musick's project to record Byrd's complete output. On the disc, some of the shorter motets are entrusted to The Cardinall's' habitual instrumental accomplices, the Frideswide Consort. A full list of sources is given for each piece, along with appropriate editorial commentary. Since Byrd set certain texts a number of times, such precision seems only sensible.
Much of this music is new to the CD catalogue, and even in this selection of largely unpublished motets, there are impressive finds (the nine-voice Dominequis habitabit, for instance). This repertory is the mother's-milk of English choristers, and of the younger generation of English vocal ensembles The Cardinall's Musick remains perhaps the closest to that tradition outside of actual choral establishments. So they respond to Byrd with a suavity and confidence born of longstanding acquaintance. The expansive penitential pieces, such as the early Lamentations, are far removed from the small-scale forms of the Gradualia. The Cardinall's Musick respond effectively to these different functions and moods, and the recording complements them admirably.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU170

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Byrd Edition Volume 2

Byrd Edition Volume 2

Propers for Christmas Day


Byrd:

Propers for Christmas Day


“This second volume of The Cardinall's Musick's Byrd edition is, if anything, more impressive than the first. It may be a matter of programming, for the works recorded here seem to be of a higher overall calibre: even an obviously experimental piece such as O salutaris hostia could have been included on merit alone – yet this appears to be its first recording. Complete surveys sometimes turn up items of lesser interest, yet they also allow one to hear pieces that might have difficulty in finding a home elsewhere: witness the responsory, In exitu Israel, an intriguing collaborative effort by Byrd and his contemporaries, Mundy and Sheppard. Finally, one can judge for oneself the authenticity of works that modern scholarship has deemed doubtful (such as the opening Ave regina caelorum).
Most of the pieces here involve male altos on the top line. The centrepiece is a collection of Propers from the Gradualia of 1607, this time for the Nativity. As on their first set, Skinner's and Carwood's decision to structure each volume around a set of Propers proves an astute piece of programming, integrating shorter items as it does (such as the various Alleluia settings) within a framework that allows them their own space. The singers are on very fine form indeed. It takes confidence to carry off Osalutaris hostia, whose fierce false relations could so easily have sounded merely wilful. Only in the final, extended settings does the pace flag: the disc's last moments are rather ponderous.
That aside, this is a disc to delight Byrd-lovers everywhere.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU178

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Byrd Edition Volume 3

Byrd Edition Volume 3

Early Latin Church Music - Propers for the Epiphany


Byrd:

Propers for Epiphany a4

Benigne Fac Domine a5

Christe Qui Lux Es Et a4

Circumspice Jerusalem a6

Domine Deus Omnipotens a5

Domine Ante Te a6

Petrus Beatus a5

Quomodo cantabimus a8

Reges Tharsis et Insulae a5

Sacris Solemniis

Te Lucis Ante Terminum a4

Monte, P:

Super flumina Babylonis


Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU179

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Byrd Edition Volume 4

Byrd Edition Volume 4


Byrd:

Cantiones Sacrae 1575


Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU197

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Byrd Edition Volume 5 - The Masses

Byrd Edition Volume 5 - The Masses


Byrd:

Fantasia MB46

Mass for four voices

Voluntary a3

Mass for three voices

Fantasia in C (Bk 25)

Mass for five voices


These intimate, dark, mystical settings are creations of great feeling, expressing the sorrow of deprivation. All three masses reach an intensity rarely equalled in Renaissance times, and culminating in Agnus Dei settings which are among the most poignantly beautiful in all music. These will remain definitive performances for many years to come. Each mass in preceded by an organ Fantasia. Suprisingly there is only one other modern issue currently to present all three masses on a single CD.

“The singing is technically polished, the tuning faultless and the overall sonority rounded and rich.” Choir & Organ

“This is incomparable music by one of the great est English composers and it was high time for someone to take a fresh look at these works in the light of more recent research and of changing attitudes to performance practice.
Byrd had composed his three settings of the Ordinary of the Mass in troubled times for the small recusant Catholic community that still remained in England in spite of persecution.
The settings would have been sung, in all probability, during festive, albeit furtive, celebrations of the old time-honoured Roman liturgy, in private chapels in the depths of the country, at places such as Ingatestone, the seat of Byrd's principal patron, Sir John Petre. Andrew Carwood has recorded them in the Fitzalan Chapel of Arundel Castle, a small but lofty building with a clear resonance that enables the inner voices of the part-writing to come through straight and clean. It hasn't the aura of King's College Chapel, but is probably easier to manage than, say, Winchester Cathedral or Merton College Chapel.
Carwood uses two voices to a part in all three Masses. In comparison with rival recordings he's alone in selecting high voices for the three-part Mass, transposed up a minor third, which introduces a note of surprising lightness and grace. He, too, is alone in taking the initiative of using an allmale choir for the four-part Mass – alto, tenor, baritone, bass. This close, low texture, together with the transposition down an augmented fourth, adds a fitting sense of gravity to the performance.
In particular, it heightens the poignancy of such passages as the 'dona nobis pacem' in the AgnusDei, with its series of suspensions in the drooping phrases leading to the final cadence.
That dimension of understanding is precisely what this recording by The Cardinall's Musick so keenly demonstrates. Theirs is a simplicity of style that belies simplistic criticism. Vibrato is used sparingly: 40 years on, some listeners might consider its constant use by a King's Choir of the late 1950s almost too overpowering. Carwood chooses his tempos with care, avoiding the modern tendency to speed everything up inordinately.
The interesting historical note on the whole background is a good pointer to what the listener may experience as the music unfolds.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

First Choice - December 2003

Building a Library

First Choice - June 2013

Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU206

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Byrd Edition Volume 7

Byrd Edition Volume 7

Cantiones Sacrae, 1589 - Propers for Lady Mass from Christmas to Purification


Byrd:

Defecit In Dolore

Domine Praestolamur

O Domine Adjuva Me

Tristitia et anxietas

Propers for Lady Mass from Christmas to Purification

Memento Domine

Vide Domine Afflictionem

Deus venerunt gentes

Domine Tu Jurasti


Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU224

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Byrd Edition Volume 8

Byrd Edition Volume 8

Cantiones Sacrae (1589)


Byrd:

Vigilate (from Cantiones sacrae 1589)

In Resurrectione tua

Aspice Domine de Sede

Ne irascaris Domine

Propers For The Feast Of The Purification

O quam gloriosum est regnum

Tribulationes civitatum

Domine secundum multitudinem

Laetentur coeli


“ASV's Byrd Edition presents Propers for Candlemas (also known as the 'Feast of the Purification'), and further motets from the 1589 CantionesSacrae, many of them composed to strengthen the spirits of the Queen's loyal Catholic subjects in those troubled and highly dangerous times. Which goes to explain the high proportion of sorrowful or penitential texts, the frequent cries for deliverance (AspiceDomine, Ne irascaris, Tribulationes), and the mastery with which Byrd sets them. This historical background, vital to an understanding of the music, doesn't exclude the possibility of a joyful outcome: Byrd can also contemplate the ultimate joys of heaven, (O quam gloriosum, Laetenturcaeli).
The choir enters deeply into an understanding of what lies behind these pieces. And Byrd is never averse to raising his singers' spirits by introducing a jaunty rhythm – the crowing cock in Vigilate, for example – or a bright, rising theme to inspire hope. The choir responds with sustained restraint, perfect balance and crisp rhythms.
The settings of the Propers for Candlemas offer a short recital of their own, this time in the full context of the liturgy for this ancient feast, and following the whole course of events as the story unfolds. A thoroughly satisfying disc.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Presto CD

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU309

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Byrd: My Ladye Nevells Booke

Byrd: My Ladye Nevells Booke


Christopher Hogwood (harpsichord)

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

Decca Rosette Collection - 4761530

(Presto CD - 3 discs)

$25.75

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Byrd: The Three Masses

Byrd: The Three Masses


Byrd:

Mass for five voices

Mass for four voices

Mass for three voices


Presto CD

Argo - 4301642

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$15.00

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