Concert: Sherborne Abbey Festival

Date: Tuesday 6 May 2014, 7.30 pm    Venue: Sherborne Abbey, Sherborne, Dorset  {venue link »}

Byrd: The Englishman

The Great Service of William Byrd is one of the most sumptuous, intellectually stimulating and captivating set of pieces written in the sixteenth century. Unknown until its re-discovery in the 1920s, the seven movements each scored for ten voices sets the texts used during the course of a day for Elizabeth I’s Anglican Church. Byrd is at his most commanding in these pieces. His word setting is full of imagination and he exploits the ten voices in various combinations to create dramatic effects which sometimes are subtle and sometimes simply great fun, with the singers throwing portions of a melody around from one voice to another like a Renaissance tennis match!  This programme also features English anthems providing subtle contrast, scored for more modest forces and including O Lord make thy servant Elizabeth, a most beautiful tribute to the Queen and perhaps a rather surprising one from a dedicated Catholic.

Booking opens Monday 17th February 2014

Tickets by post from Sherborne Abbey Festival, PO Box 6317, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 9AP or online at