Concert: Wigmore Hall, London

Date: Monday 5 March 2012, 7.30 pm    Venue: {venue link »}

Byrd: The Englishman (second of The Cardinall’s Musick’s appearances in the Wigmore Hall’s  Byrd Series)

Religious upheaval and persecution, endemic during the 1540s and 1550s, gave way to greater stability and tolerance under Elizabeth I. Byrd was able to trim his professional sails to the liturgical needs of the Church of England while retaining and covertly practising his outlawed Catholic faith. The composer’s magnificent settings of words from the 1559 Book of Common Prayer, with the exception of The Great Service, appear to date from his time as Organist and Master of the Choristers at Lincoln Cathedral in the 1560s and may have been written to secure a new job in London. The Great Service, written after he joined the Chapel Royal, stands as a masterpiece of Anglican music, an ornament of the first Elizabethan age.

Preceded by pre-concert talk by Andrew Carwood at 6.00 pm.