Mstation Classical Reviews

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Sat, 03 Feb 2007

Byrd Laudibus in sanctis

Laudibus in sanctis - William Byrd

The Cardinall's Musik

Andrew Carwood

CD, Hyperion

Born around 1539, Byrd first came into public view with the publication of Cantiones Sacrae in 1591. Before this he had been organist at Lincoln Cathedral until the death of Robert Parsons - Byrds opportunity to move back to London, to the Chapel Royal in Parsons' now vacant position.

Noted for his exceptional ability to set text to music, Byrd's reputation spread rapidly. It could have also had an influence in saving him from severe punishment for his Catholic beliefs. In 1591, Byrd took leave of London in favour of Stondon Massey - Essex. It was at this time that he published music written for Catholic liturgy; a dangerous but seemingly non- repercussive move.

The performances of these works exude authority from the start. The intricacies of Byrd's compositional style are well demonstrated; with his command of invention and harmonic writing providing an excellent foundation on which to build ideas of your own. The music is clear, and the sound, full and vibrant. The composition is outstanding of the period, and a clear example of the level of Byrd's compositional abilities. ( E Walton)

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