Hodie Simon Petrus Cantiones Sacrae 1591 & Gradualia 1607

William Byrd
Vol 11  (Released: 02/02/09)
Hyperion CDA67653

Hodie Simon Petrus Cantiones Sacrae 1591 & Gradualia 1607
(William Byrd)

The works in this eleventh volume present Byrd the recusant, covering the last year of his fashionable career in London and moving to a quieter life in the Essex countryside. The music is from two sources: the magnificent Cantiones Sacrae of 1591 and the Gradualia from 1607. The seven motets from 1591 show Byrd to be pre-occupied with thoughts of desolation, loss, deprivation and separation – familiar ideas for the recusant Catholic community. A feeling of angst in the music is leavened by a sense of salvation and a glimmer of hope which is the composer’s constant refrain. The Gradualia are some of the most imaginative, modern-sounding and energetic music that the composer ever wrote.

This performance is unparalleled in its depth of expression and intelligence BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE