Byrd - The Three Masses, Ave Verum Corpus
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Cat No: CDA68038
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 1st September 2014
WorksAve verum corpus
Mass for five voices
Mass for four voices
Mass for three voices
ArtistsWestminster Cathedral Choir
A new recording of the most perfect of Tudor masterpieces, Byrdís three Mass-settings, from the cradle of their nineteenth-century rehabilitation. Westminster Cathedral Choir is enjoying a vintage period, and here we hear its trademark sound in all its glory: unfettered, natural singing from the trebles underpinned by warm yet clear tones from the gentlemen.
This recording celebrates Byrdís Catholic Masses in two ways simultaneously. Most obviously, it addresses great and timeless works, which themselves address great and timeless liturgical texts. But at the same time it reminds us that the revival of Byrdís Masses in the late nineteenth century was pioneered by Roman Catholic church choirs. This is a point worth pondering. Since the accession of Queen Elizabeth I in 1558, the choirs of Englandís Protestant cathedrals and college chapels have had their own distinctive musical repertory, which has flourished and grown in unbroken tradition.
The anthems and services of Thomas Tallis, for instance, have never fallen from cathedral use - they have been the epitome of Choral Evensong and Eucharist for more than four centuries. This Anglican repertory, however, is not what Roman Catholic worship requires. When major Catholic choral foundations were established in late Victorian and Edwardian England, at Downside Abbey, the Brompton Oratory, and above all at Westminster Cathedral, there was a quest for new and more relevant music, and it was at these places that William Byrdís three Latin Masses were revived. Hence the pertinence of this recording - it celebrates that Catholic revival no less than it celebrates the works themselves.
1Byrd: Mass For 5 Voices - 1. Kyrie
2Byrd: Mass For 5 Voices - 2. Gloria
3Byrd: Mass For 5 Voices - 3. Credo
4Byrd: Mass For 5 Voices - 4a. Sanctus
5Byrd: Mass For 5 Voices - 4b. Benedictus
6Byrd: Mass For 5 Voices - 5. Agnus Dei
7Byrd: Mass For 4 Voices - 1. Kyrie
8Byrd: Mass For 4 Voices - 2. Gloria
9Byrd: Mass For 4 Voices - 3. Credo
10Byrd: Mass For 4 Voices - 4a. Sanctus
11Byrd: Mass For 4 Voices - 4b. Benedictus
12Byrd: Mass For 4 Voices - 5. Agnus Dei
13Byrd: Mass For 3 Voices - 1. Kyrie
14Byrd: Mass For 3 Voices - 2. Gloria
15Byrd: Mass For 3 Voices - 3. Credo
16Byrd: Mass For 3 Voices - 4a. Sanctus
17Byrd: Mass For 3 Voices - 4b. Benedictus
18Byrd: Mass For 3 Voices - 5. Agnus Dei
19Byrd: Ave Verum Corpus
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