Byrd Edition, Vol. 12: Assumpta est Maria

The Byrd Edition, Vol. 12: Assumpta est Maria

by Cardinall's Musick
     
 
There is no shortage of skilled British vocal groups performing the choral music of William Byrd, but this lovely disc of music drawn from the Gradualia collection of 1605 (it would have been composed probably over the previous decade, in the midst of Britain's political and religious turmoil) stands out even among strong competition.

Overview

There is no shortage of skilled British vocal groups performing the choral music of William Byrd, but this lovely disc of music drawn from the Gradualia collection of 1605 (it would have been composed probably over the previous decade, in the midst of Britain's political and religious turmoil) stands out even among strong competition. It's notable for the organization of the program, the forces used, and the sheer beauty of the singing in mixed-gender adult trios, quartets, and quintets. The Cardinall's Musick, under the direction of Andrew Carwood, consists of 10 singers, but they rotate through performances in which they are deployed with one voice to a part. This treatment underscores the intimate and somewhat madrigalian qualities of these pieces, which were likely intended for whatever kind of small-scale performances Catholics could get away with at the time. Sample track 10, the Gradual and Tract Diffusia est gratia from a set of Mass Propers for the Annunciation of the Virgin, to get a feel for the unique expressiveness of these versions; it is easy to imagine the way the madrigalisms on the words "iustitiam" (justice) and "exultatsione" (exultation) would have been heard among a small group of Catholics performing the music in a hidden chapel. The program consists of three mass Proper sets along with a group of other three-part motets; it both makes liturgical sense and is musically appealing from a modern point of view. The sound, from a chapel at Arundel Castle in West Sussex, is flawlessly appropriate. Carwood himself wrote the concise and informative booklet notes, given in English and French; the Latin texts are translated into English only.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/08/2009
Label:
Hyperion Uk
UPC:
0034571176758
catalogNumber:
67675

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Propers for the Mass of the Nativity of the Virgin, for 5 voices (Gradualia, Book 1)
  2. Quem terra, pontus, aethera, motet for 3 voices (STB)
  3. Salve Regina, motet for 4 voices (SATB)
  4. O gloriosa Domine, motet for 3 voices (STB)
  5. Propers for the Mass of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for 5 voices (Gradualia, Book 1)
  6. Memento salutis auctor, motet for 3 voices (STB)
  7. Salve sola Dei genitrix, motet for 4 voices (SSST)
  8. Ave maris stella, motet for 3 voices (ATB)
  9. Propers for the Mass of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for 5 voices (Gradualia, Book 1)

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