This page lists all recordings of Quomodo cantabimus, by William Byrd (1543-1623) on CD, SACD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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The Word Unspoken
Sacred Music by William Byrd & Philippe de Monte
William Byrd, favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, was a confirmed and practising Catholic who worshipped in defiance of the Queen. His status and perhaps even his life was preserved thanks partly to the undeniable mastery of his music, and to the fact that he was careful to maintain an output of music appropriate for a Protestant Rite (simple and English) as well as a Catholic one (florid and Latin).
Byrd was by no means the only major Catholic composer working in England during these years. Furthermore, there were English composers whose faith drove them to work abroad, as well as foreign composers who offered sympathy and encouragement to English Catholics. Included in this latter category was the Flemish composer Phillipe De Monte who entered into a fascinating compositional correspondence with Byrd. Verses of Psalm 136 ‘Super Flumina Babylonis’ (containing many allegorical references to the plight of catholics unable to practice their faith openly) were set to music and exchanged, in what is now seen as an encoded message of mutual support and friendship between brothers in faith.
The texts reveal the Catholic community’s sense of isolation: “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”, Quomodo Cantabimus; and bereavement: “Jerusalem is wasted”, Ne Irascaris, and the elaborate, poetic nature of the encoded messages distributed within it through music.
The early-music consort Gallicantus (led by former King's Singer Gabriel Crouch) is drawn from the ranks of recent BBC Music Magazine award-winning choir Tenebrae.
“The intensity of the music is reflected in Gallicantus’s beautifully shaped performances, even if we miss now the raw sense of peril that English Catholics must then have felt.” Sunday Times, 9th July 2012
“The ensemble's view of this repertory, though hardly new, is delivered with such intelligence and rhetorical persuasiveness that the cumulative weight of their Byrd, in particular, is well-nigh symphonic in effect...Only the most prejudiced critics of 'the English sound', I'd say, could dispute that Gallicantus achieves something rather special here.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Sacred Music: An Easter Celebration
Presented by Simon Russell Beale
Miserere mei, Deus
Sally Dunkley, Elin Manahan Thomas, David Clegg & Eamonn Dougan
Stabat Mater a 12
Bach, J S:
Motet BWV229 'Komm, Jesu, komm!'
Ye sacred muses - an elegy for Thomas Tallis
Mass for four voices - Agnus Dei
Elin Manahan Thomas, Christopher Royall, Mark Dobell & Eamonn Dougan
Super flumina Babylonis
Gloria (from Missa Papae Marcelli)
Assumpta est Maria a 6
Salvator mundi, salva nos
In the finale to series one of the Sacred Music programme, Simon Russell Beale presents a special concert for Easter from LSO St Luke's in London, performed by the award-winning choir The Sixteen, conducted by founder Harry Christophers. The music takes us on a journey of over a thousand years, from haunting plainchant through to the celebrated music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Highlights include Palestrina's motet Assumpta Est Maria, and Allegri's Miserere.
Plus Bonus Features include:
· Sacred Music Series One Preview
· Exclusive Interview with Harry Christophers
· Song Selection with Introductions from Harry Christophers (Audio Option)
· Related Recordings by The Sixteen
· Artist Biographies and Images
· Downloadable Screensavers
Region: NTSC Region 0
Plays in all territories
“Allegri's Miserere puts in an appearance, Elin Manahan Thomas surfing the high Cs with effortless sublimity, but the last word (a glorious one at that) falls to a Marian motet by Palestrina” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ***
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Where late the sweet birds sang
Magnificat delivers once again; ‘Where late the sweet birds sang’ is a gorgeous contrapuntal choral collection of works by three of the leading Elizabethan composers, featuring some of the repertoire’s best singers.
Since the time of Byrd Westminster and Winchester Cathedrals have been renowned as two of England’s finest choral cathedrals.
The choristers on this recording, from Westminster and Winchester, maintain that lineage, their voices blending seamlessly and naturally.
The recording was made in St. George’s church in Chesterton, Cambridge which is of a similar scale to Waltham Abbey where Byrd was composing.
Byrd is increasingly recognised as a composer of great importance and ‘Where late the sweet birds sang’ will show that White and Parsons are equally exciting and deserving of renewed attention.
Magnificat are one of the world’s premier vocal ensembles whose recordings have met with huge critical acclaim: Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium was hailed as ‘quite the best recording’ by Gramophone Magazine and was First Choice in Building A Library on BBC Radio 3's CD Review. In addition their recording of Victoria’s Officium Defunctorum was named Critics’ Choice by Gramophone Magazine and chosen by The Rough Guide as one of its 100 Essential Classical CDs.
Directed by Philip Cave, Magnificat specialises in the restoration and performance of neglected choral masterpieces of the 16th and 17th centuries.
In association with Linn Records, Magnificat has undertaken many highly successful recording projects of music from ‘The Golden Age’, including works by Gesualdo, Guerrero, Josquin, Rebelo, Victoria, Allegri, Tallis, Rogier and Palestrina.
“The sober packaging of this disc gives little indication of the pleasure within. Pass it over at your peril...the long lines of intertwining and unfolding polyphony, performed with warmth and purity, is the reason to buy this inspirational CD.” The Observer, 9th December 2012
“There is such precision and care paid to the progress of the music and its phrases that you can almost see Philip Cave placing each note carefully, exactly where he wants it. That's not to say Magnificat's sound is in any way bland in its meticulousness - far from it. The blend and ensemble of the voices is beyond reproach.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013
“The subtle hues of the choir, an elite corps from Winchester Cathedrals, are particularly impressive in Byrd's Lamentation, a piece in which voicing gives the music its momentum. Yet the beauty of this choir is, ironically, its greatest weakness.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2013 ****
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
The Caged Byrd
Music for voices, viols & harpsichord, from a time of persecution
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)