Time is a great healer however and, as the century progressed, people forgot the old ways. Yet at the words of the Agnus Dei Lamb of God Byrd cannot resist writing music with a more impassioned nature. The set is completed by the short Solve, iubente Deo and the beautiful Hodie Simon Petrus which, appropriately enough in a collection of texts which otherwise refer only to St Peter, reserves its most telling music for the mention of the death of St Paul. At various points petitions can be added according to the festival, as happens here to honour all the saints, from 2:30 to 2:49, 3:01 to 3:50, 4:35 to 4:47 and 4:58 to 5:45. Christophers prefers a more homogenized otherworldliness. His writing is unmistakably English and it is likely that his view of Catholicism was also deeply English: these two elements are clearly brought together in his music. The Cambridge Singers, well balanced and clear-voiced, respond splendidly and never stiffly to the texts and their treatments: ''Sing joyfully'' it says, and they do; ''Plorans plorabit'', they observe with due grief.
Hodie Simon Petrus Byrd Edition vol. As a devout Catholic and a brilliant musician it is perhaps a little strange that Byrd should never have travelled abroad. The people of early sixteenth-century England had only ever known one belief system, a complicated set of rules preserved and developed by a Church with its spiritual head in Rome. One of the most complex sets is the six-voiced group of motets in honour of St Peter and St Paul presented here together with a Litany in honour of the saints. Suscepimus, Deus -- Sicut audivimus -- Senex puerum portabat -- Nunc dimittis -- Responsum accepit Simeon -- Salve, sancta parens -- Benedicta et venerabilis -- Virgo Dei genetrix -- Felix es, sacra virgo -- Beata es, Virgo Maria -- Beata viscera Mariae Virginis -- Rorate caeli desuper -- Tollite portas -- Ave Maria, gratia plena -- Ecce virgo concipiet -- Vultum tuum -- Speciosus forma -- Post partum, Virgo -- Felix namque es -- Alleluia-Ave Maria -- Gaude Maria -- Diffusa est gratia -- Gaudeamus omnes in Domino -- Assumpta est Maria in caelum -- Optimam partem -- Adoramus -- Unam petii a Domino -- Plorans plorabit -- Gaudeamus omnes -- Timete Dominum -- Iustorum animae -- Beati mundo corde -- Cibavit eos -- Oculi omnium -- Sacerdotes Domini -- Quotiescunque manducabitis -- Ave verum corpus -- O salutaris hostia -- O sacrum convivium -- Nobis datus, nobis natus -- Ecce quam bonum -- Christus resurgens -- Visita, quaesumus, Domine -- Salve, Regina -- Alma Redemptoris Mater -- Ave Regina caelorum -- In manus tuas -- Laetania -- Salve, sola Dei genetrix -- Senex puerum portabat -- Hodie beata Virgo -- Deo gratias -- Quem terra, pontus -- O gloriosa Domina -- Memento, salutis auctor -- Ave, maris stella -- Regina caeli -- Alleluia-Quae lucescit -- Haec dies -- Angelus Domini descendit -- Post dies octo -- Tvrbarvm voces -- Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion.
In the Offertory Tu es Petrus tr. First I shall review the Cantiones sacrae in their 1591 order. Indeed the set contains one of the most remarkable pieces of writing that Byrd ever produced. The Latin words are incredibly direct and simple, and so powerful and unexpected is this statement that the music almost stops. Contents: Gradvalia, Lib I, Cantiones qvinqve vocvm.
Description: 1 score vii, 151 pages ; 26 cm. The angst of the 1591 pieces is banished in these settings where Byrd gives his imagination free rein. The combination underlines the power of the Church itself, built on the rock of Peter and on the teachings of Paul. In Tu es pastor ovium tr. Its verse 1:46 is sinewy imitation in 3 parts followed by confident, robust Alleluias.
The King of England or the Bishop of Rome? With the exception of the Litany, the pieces contained on this disc, the eleventh devoted to the Latin Church music of Byrd, are from two sources: the Cantiones Sacrae of 1591 published at the end of his time in London and the second book of motets entitled Gradualia from 1607 which contains music probably written for the Catholic community based around Ingatestone Hall in Essex. Each piece provides at least a glimmer of hope and often contains an outright statement of positive thought. He was truly an English composer and perhaps it is possible to see in this move, this nesting in the countryside, an even more definite statement of his beliefs. Byrd proudly displays his English heritage by setting a pre-Reformation Sarum rite text involving a cantus firmus a favourite device of John Sheppard and his contemporaries complete with dissonances and false relations. Description: xxix pages, score 367 pages : facsimiles ; 34 cm. Unusually Byrd has varied the scoring in this set of pieces.
The set is completed by the short Solve, iubente Deo and the beautiful Hodie Simon Petrus which, appropriately enough in a collection of texts which otherwise refer only to St Peter, reserves its most telling music for the mention of the death of St Paul. Unusually Byrd has varied the scoring in this set of pieces. It must have been at this time that a desire for England to remain Catholic became embedded in his heart. The English owed allegiance to their monarch and to their country but the spiritual focus of their lives, that which dealt with their immortal soul, was the Roman Church. The cycle of Propers devoted to the feasts of St Peter and St Paul is particularly involving, being scored for six voices and richly elaborate.
One such is the five-part Miserere mei, Deus. Not surprising from a man for whom texts, their context and subtext, were clearly everything. The best results are obtained on a reasonably powerful and similarly grainy sound system. The seven motets from 1591 show Byrd to be preoccupied with thoughts of desolation, loss, deprivation and separation—thoughts which were obsessions for the recusant Catholic community. Composers such as Thomas Weelkes, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Tomkins found themselves part of a uniquely English institution which allowed them the freedom to produce exceptional music.