Sunday, June 10, 2012

"A Mass For Recusants With Propers for Corpus Christi"

There's an interesting post at Saturday Chorale (a great site new to me) about this William Byrd mass.  It includes a setting of the mass ordinary - and polyphonic settings of the propers for Corpus Christi. Here's the video itself (45 minutes long):

Here's the opening of the post at Saturday Chorale, explaining the circumstances in which Byrd lived and wrote this mass:
William Byrd was a brave and stubborn man, a devout Catholic in a country whose government and people were becoming more and more Protestant he was able to use his position as a favourite of Elizabeth I to mitigate the worst of the punishments meted out to him and his family as recusants. Notwithstanding Elizabeth I's protection Byrd's home was often subjected to raids during which it and its inhabitants were searched for compromising Catholic materials, had such been found Byrd would at the very least have faced crippling fines and could well have faced imprisonment or even being put to death. Given these circumstances it took courage to set any Latin texts whatsoever. Byrd however went well beyond merely setting Latin religious texts. With the stubborn heroism that seems to have been one of his defining characteristics Byrd not only set but published three settings of the Mass between 1593 and 1595.
Here's a note at the YouTube page, listing all the music on the video:
The music in this video consists of Byrd's five part Mass and (some of) the Propers for Corpus Christi. The music in the video consists of:

1 Cibavit eos
2 Kyrie
3 Gloria
4 Oculi omnium
5 Lauda Sion salvatorem
6 Credo
7 Sacerdotes Domini
8a Sanctus
8b Benedictus
9 Quotiescunque manducabitis
10 Agnus Dei
11 Processional Hymn, Pange lingua gloriosi
The blogger provides a PDF at the post, too, with texts for all the above. A wonderful post! And there's much more to read there - so, go.

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