William Byrd: Great Service

William Byrd
Vol n/a  (Released: 1/10/2012)
Hyperion CDA67937

Sample (click to play)

William Byrd: The Great Service
(William Byrd)

The Cardinall’s Musick’s latest recording release, of Byrd’s Great Service, is attracting favourable attention:

“This new recording is something special.  Whether it’s because of the sheer experience of having sung so much of Byrd’s music as to have assimilated his musical language utterly, or whether it’s simply the raw musicianship and cultivated intelligence of the performers, thre’s a clarity and intensity in each verse that is spine-tingling.  In his excellent booklet notes, Carwood rightly mentions a moment in the Magnificat where Byrd scatters the proud ‘not only “in their hearts” but audibly in the music’.   Here, as elsewhere, Byrd’s setting is realised with the kind of skill and conviction that moves rather than simply amazes.” (Robert Levett, International Record Review)

“The 10 voices of the Cardinall’s Musick launch into the opening of Byrd’s The Great Service – “O come, let us sing unto the Lord” – with a soaring joyfulness and clarity that sustains throughout this large-scale and elaborate work. Andrew Carwood and his group have won countless accolades for their series of Byrd’s Latin sacred music. In this Anglican work, they achieve the same outstanding level of musicianship. The (female) sopranos have strength and purity at the top but an effective lightness, too, closer to the sound of boy trebles. The full ensemble tone is bold and energetic. Also includes Unto the Hills Mine Eyes I Lift (1589) and four pieces from Psalmes, Songs and Sonnets (1611).” (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian)