Hyperion Records

Byrd, William (1539/40-1623)  

William Byrd

born: 1539/40
died: 4 July 1623
country: United Kingdom

It is Byrd’s genius which first attracts musicians and listeners to his music: his fine command of invention and dramatic flow, his subtle melodies and harmonic turns mixed with a sophisticated understanding of the texts that he chose to set. Quite simply he was the finest composer of his age. As if this were not enough, the added dimension of his life as a recusant Catholic in reformed England gives his music, indeed his whole life, an extra degree of fascination. The story of how a man could not only cling to his beliefs but also publish them abroad in musical form when all around him were being attacked for their faith is indeed remarkable.

Byrd’s birth year has now been fixed at 1539 or 1540 (he clearly states his age as 58 in a deposition dated 2 October 1598) but very little is known of his early life. He must have been active in or around Westminster during the reign of Queen Mary in the mid 1550s and before the death of John Sheppard, as Sheppard and Byrd together with the young William Mundy each contributed music for a setting of In exitu Israel. This Psalm, with its specific liturgical function in the Sarum rite, was almost certainly written for Mary’s restored Catholic rite.

His first official post appears to be as Organist of Lincoln Cathedral in 1562. He remained there until the untimely death of the composer Robert Parsons in 1572 allowed Byrd to be appointed to the Chapel Royal in Parsons’ place and thus return to London. His first appearance in print was in 1575 with a joint publication (with his friend and mentor, Thomas Tallis) entitled Cantiones Sacrae. He was exceptionally active in the late 1580s, publishing two secular collections (in 1588 and 1589) and two sacred collections (in 1589 and 1591) within the space of four years.

In the early 1590s Byrd took leave of London for a less public life in Stondon Massey in Essex. Here he became part of the extended Catholic family of Sir William Petre and took part in the recusant ceremonies centred on Ingatestone Hall. He produced music specifically for Catholic liturgies and even dared to publish them. The three settings of the Mass appeared anonymously during the 1590s and two volumes entitled Gradualia were published in 1605 and 1607. Byrd was censured for his faith and called to account but never received stern punishment or any form of deprivation. Perhaps the censors did not believe that music could be dangerous, or could it be that Byrd was so excellent a composer that he was simply beyond reproach?

from notes by Andrew Carwood 2006

Albums
'Byrd: Assumpta est Maria & other sacred music' (CDA67675)
Byrd: Assumpta est Maria & other sacred music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67675  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Byrd: Consort Songs' (CDH55429)
Byrd: Consort Songs
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55429  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Byrd: Gradualia – The Marian Masses' (CDH55047)
Byrd: Gradualia – The Marian Masses
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55047  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
'Byrd: Hodie Simon Petrus & other sacred music' (CDA67653)
Byrd: Hodie Simon Petrus & other sacred music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67653  Download currently discounted
'Byrd: Infelix ego & other sacred music' (CDA67779)
Byrd: Infelix ego & other sacred music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67779  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Byrd: Keyboard Music' (CDA66558)
Byrd: Keyboard Music
CDA66558  Deleted  
'Byrd: Laudibus in sanctis & other sacred music' (CDA67568)
Byrd: Laudibus in sanctis & other sacred music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67568 
'Byrd: Mass for five voices' (CDH55348)
Byrd: Mass for five voices
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55348  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music' (CDS44461/7)
Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music
Buy by post £33.00 CDS44461/7  7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Byrd: The Great Service & other English music' (CDA67937)
Byrd: The Great Service & other English music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67937  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Byrd: The Great Service & other works' (CDA67533)
Byrd: The Great Service & other works
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67533 
'Byrd: The three Masses' (CDA68038)
Byrd: The three Masses
CDA68038  September 2014 Release  
'Advent at St Paul's' (CDH55463)
Advent at St Paul's
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55463  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'All in the April Evening' (CDH55243)
All in the April Evening
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55243  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'English Virginal Music of the 17th Century' (CDA66067)
English Virginal Music of the 17th Century
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66067  Archive Service  
'Epiphany at St Paul's' (CDH55443)
Epiphany at St Paul's
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55443  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Exultate Deo' (CDA66850)
Exultate Deo
Buy by post £10.50 CDA66850 
'For His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts' (CDH55406)
For His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55406  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'From the vaults of Westminster Cathedral' (CDA67707)
From the vaults of Westminster Cathedral
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67707 
'Grainger: Rambles and Reflections' (CDH55454)
Grainger: Rambles and Reflections
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55454  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Mary and Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey' (CDA67704)
Mary and Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67704 
'Miserere' (CDA67938)
Miserere
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67938  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Music from the Chirk Castle Part-Books' (CDA67695)
Music from the Chirk Castle Part-Books
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67695 
'Musique of Violenze' (CDA66929)
Musique of Violenze
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66929  Archive Service  
'My mind to me a kingdom is' (CDA66307)
My mind to me a kingdom is
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66307  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Sacred & Secular Music' (CDH55148)
Sacred & Secular Music
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55148  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'The Feast of Saint Peter the Apostle at Westminster Abbey' (CDA67770)
The Feast of Saint Peter the Apostle at Westminster Abbey
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67770 
'The Music of Westminster Cathedral' (WCC100)
The Music of Westminster Cathedral
Buy by post £4.50 WCC100  Super-budget price sampler  
'The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2' (HYP20)
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
HYP20  2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
On other labels
'Byrd, Parsons & White: Where late the sweet birds sang' (CKD417)
Byrd, Parsons & White: Where late the sweet birds sang
CKD417  Download only  
'Byrd: Complete Consort Music' (CKD372)
Byrd: Complete Consort Music
CKD372  Download only  
'Byrd: Playing Elizabeth's Tune' (CDGIM992)
Byrd: Playing Elizabeth's Tune
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM992  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Byrd: The Great Service' (CDGIM011)
Byrd: The Great Service
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM011 
'Byrd: The Tallis Scholars sing William Byrd' (CDGIM208)
Byrd: The Tallis Scholars sing William Byrd
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM208  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Byrd: The three Masses' (CDGIM345)
Byrd: The three Masses
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM345  Last few CD copies remaining  
'Christmas Carols and Motets' (CDGIM010)
Christmas Carols and Motets
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM010 
'English Madrigals' (GIMSE403)
English Madrigals
Buy by post £6.75 GIMSE403  Gimell (budget price)  
'Parsons, White & Byrd: Where late the sweet birds sang' (CKD417)
Parsons, White & Byrd: Where late the sweet birds sang
CKD417  Download only  
'Renaissance Giants' (CDGIM207)
Renaissance Giants
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM207  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Renaissance Radio' (CDGIM212)
Renaissance Radio
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM212  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1' (GIMBX301)
Sacred Music in the Renaissance, Vol. 1
GIMBX301  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only  
'The Essential Tallis Scholars' (CDGIM201)
The Essential Tallis Scholars
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM201  2CDs for the price of 1  
'The Tallis Scholars Live in Oxford' (CDGIM998)
The Tallis Scholars Live in Oxford
Buy by post £11.75 CDGIM998  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'The Tudors at Prayer' (CKD447)
The Tudors at Prayer
CKD447  Download only  
'White, Byrd & Parsons: Where late the sweet birds sang' (CKD417)
White, Byrd & Parsons: Where late the sweet birds sang
CKD417  Download only  
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
A Fancie, BK46 (Byrd)
A Fancie, for my Ladye Nevell (Byrd)
A Fancie, for my Ladye Nevell, BK25 (Byrd)
A Galliard, BK77 (Byrd)
A Galliarde Gygge, BK18 (Byrd)
A Gigg 'F. Tr.', BK22 (Byrd)
A Grounde, BK43 (Byrd)
A Grounde, BK86 (Byrd)
A Grounde, BK9 (Byrd)
A Horne Pipe, BK39 (Byrd)
A Lesson of Voluntarie, two parts in one in the 4th above, BK26 (Byrd)
A Pavin and Galliard, BK33 (Byrd)
A Pavion and The Galliard to it, BK72 (Byrd)
A Pavion and The Galliard, BK23 (Byrd)
A Pavyn and Galliard, BK16 (Byrd)
A Preludium, BK116 EKM4 (Byrd)
A Verse of Two Parts, BK28 (Byrd)
A Voluntarie, BK27 (Byrd)
A Voluntarie, for my Ladye Nevell (Byrd)
A Voluntarie, for my Ladye Nevell, BK61 (Byrd)
Ab ortu solis (Byrd)
Afflicti pro peccatis nostris (Byrd)
Ah silly soul (Byrd)
All as a sea (Byrd)
All in a garden greene, BK56 (Byrd)
Alleluia – Ave Maria (Byrd)
Alleluia. Ave Maria … in mulieribus. Alleluia. Virga Iesse (Byrd)
Alleluia. Cognoverunt discipuli (Byrd)
Alman, BK11 (Byrd)
An aged dame (Byrd)
An Alman, BK117 EKM30 (Byrd)
An Almane, BK89 (Byrd)
Apparebit in finem (Byrd)
Assumpta est Maria (Byrd)
Ave Maria (Byrd)
Ave maris stella (Byrd)
Ave verum corpus (Byrd)
Beata es, Virgo Maria (Byrd)
Beata es, Virgo Maria (Byrd)
Beata viscera (Byrd)
Beata viscera (Byrd)
Beati mundo corde (Byrd)
Benedicta et venerabilis – Virgo Dei genetrix (Byrd)
Benedicta et venerabilis (Byrd)
Benedictus  Canticle 3 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel  First line to Benedictus, Canticle 3 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Browning a 5 'The leaves be green' (Byrd)
Calleano custure me (Byrd)
Callino Casturame, BK35 (Byrd)
Cantate Domino (Byrd)
Christ rising again from the dead (Byrd)
Christe qui lux es (Byrd)
Christe qui lux es I a 4 (Byrd)
Christe qui lux es II a 4 (Byrd)
Christe qui lux es III a 4 (Byrd)
Christe qui lux, BK121 EECM6/34 (Byrd)
Christe redemptor omnium a 4 (Byrd)
Cibavit eos (Byrd)
Circumdederunt me (Byrd)
Civitas sancti tui  Part 2 of Ne irascaris, Domine (Byrd)
Clarifica me, Pater I, BK47 (Byrd)
Clarifica me, Pater II, BK48 (Byrd)
Clarifica me, Pater III, BK49 (Byrd)
Come to me, grief, for ever (Byrd)
Constant Penelope (Byrd)
Constitues eos principes (Byrd)
Corranto, BK45 (Byrd)
Creed  Canticle 5 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Cunctis diebus (Byrd)
De lamentatione Jeremiae prophetae (Byrd)
Deo gratias (Byrd)
Descendit de caelis (Byrd)
Diffusa est gratia (Byrd)
Domine, exaudi orationem meam, inclina (Byrd)
Domine, non sum dignus (Byrd)
Domine, quis habitabit? (Byrd)
Domine, salva nos (Byrd)
Ecce quam bonum (Byrd)
Ecce virgo concipiet (Byrd)
Ego sum panis vivus (Byrd)
Emendemus in melius (Byrd)
Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? (Byrd)
Fac cum servo tuo (Byrd)
Fantasia a 5 'Two parts in one in the fourth above' (Byrd)
Fantasia I a 3 (Byrd)
Fantasia I a 4 (Byrd)
Fantasia I a 6 'A song of two basses' (Byrd)
Fantasia II a 3 (Byrd)
Fantasia II a 6 (Byrd)
Fantasia III a 3 (Byrd)
Fantasia III a 4 (Byrd)
Fantasia III a 6 'To the vyolls' (Byrd)
Fantasia, BK13 (Byrd)
Fantasia, BK62 (Byrd)
Fantasia, BK63 (Byrd)
Felix es, sacra Virgo (Byrd)
Felix namque es (Byrd)
Fortune my Foe, Farewell Delight, BK6 (Byrd)
Galiardo Mistris Marye Brownlo, BK34 (Byrd)
Galliard  Movement 2 of The First Pavan and Galliard (Byrd)
Galliard, BK53 (Byrd)
Gaude Maria (Byrd)
Gaudeamus omnes (Byrd)
Gaudeamus omnes … Sanctorum omnium (Byrd)
Gaudeamus omnes in Domino (Byrd)
Gloria tibi Trinitas, BK50 (Byrd)
Go from my window, BK79 (Byrd)
Gypseis Round, BK80 (Byrd)
Haec dicit Dominus (Byrd)
Haec dies (Byrd)
Harding's Galliard, BK55 (Byrd)
Have with yow to Walsingame, BK8 (Byrd)
Hodie Simon Petrus (Byrd)
How long shall mine enemies? (Byrd)
How vain the toils (Byrd)
Hugh Ashton's Grownde, BK20 (Byrd)
I believe in one God  First line to Creed, Canticle 5 of The Great Service (Byrd)
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty  First line to Creed, Canticle 5 of The Great Service (Byrd)
If my complaints, or Pyper's Galliard, BK118 EKM26 (Byrd)
In manus tuas, Domine (Byrd)
In nomine I a 4 (Byrd)
In nomine II a 4 (Byrd)
In nomine II a 5 'On the sharp' (Byrd)
In nomine III a 5 (Byrd)
In nomine IV a 5 (Byrd)
In nomine V a 5 (Byrd)
Infelix ego (Byrd)
Iustorum animae (Byrd)
Jhon come kisse me now, BK81 (Byrd)
Kyrie  Canticle 4 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Kyrie eleison  First line to Laetania (Byrd)
La Volta L. Morley, BK90 (Byrd)
La Volta, BK91 (Byrd)
Lady Montegle's Paven, BK75 (Byrd)
Laetania (Byrd)
Laetentur caeli (Byrd)
Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes (Byrd)
Laudibus in sanctis (Byrd)
Levemus corda (Byrd)
Lord Willobies Welcome Home 'Rowland', BK7 (Byrd)
Lord, have mercy upon us  First line to Kyrie, Canticle 4 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace  First line to Nunc dimittis, Canticle 7 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Lulla, lulla la, lulla, lullaby  First line to Lullaby 'My sweet little baby' (Byrd)
Lullaby 'My sweet little baby' (Byrd)
Magnificat  Canticle 6 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Make ye joy to God all the earth (Byrd)
Mass for five voices (Byrd)
Mass for four voices (Byrd)
Mass for three voices (Byrd)
Memento, salutis auctor (Byrd)
Miserere a 4 (Byrd)
Miserere I, BK66 (Byrd)
Miserere II, BK67 (Byrd)
Miserere mei, Deus (Byrd)
Monsieur's Alman I, BK87 (Byrd)
Monsieur's Alman II, BK88 (Byrd)
Monsieur's Alman III, BK44 (Byrd)
My Lady Nevell's Grownde, BK57 (Byrd)
My soul doth magnify the Lord  First line to Magnificat, Canticle 6 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Ne irascaris, Domine (Byrd)
Nunc dimittis  Canticle 7 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Nunc dimittis (Byrd)
Nunc scio vere (Byrd)
O come, let us sing unto the Lord  First line to Venite, Canticle 1 of The Great Service (Byrd)
O dear life, when may it be (Byrd)
O gloriosa Domina (Byrd)
O God give ear and do apply (Byrd)
O God that guides the cheerful sun (Byrd)
O God, the proud are risen against me (Byrd)
O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth (Byrd)
O Mistris myne, I must, BK83 (Byrd)
O quam gloriosum est regnum, EKM48 (Byrd)
O sacrum convivium (Byrd)
O salutaris hostia a 4 (Byrd)
O that most rare breast (Byrd)
Oculi omnium (Byrd)
Optimam partem elegit (Byrd)
Out of the deep (Byrd)
Parludam, BK115 EKM3 (Byrd)
Parson's In nomine, BK51 (Byrd/Parsons)
Pavan  Movement 1 of The First Pavan and Galliard (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard a 5 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard a 6 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'Bray', BK59 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'Eccho', BK114 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'Johnson's Delighte', BK5 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'Ph. Tr.', BK60 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'Quadran', BK70 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'Sir William Petre', BK3 (Byrd)
Pavan and Galliard 'The Earle of Salisbury', BK15 (Byrd)
Pavana and Galiarda, BK4 (Byrd)
Pavana and Galliarda, BK52 (Byrd)
Pavana and Galliarde the vi 'Kinbrugh Good', BK32 (Byrd)
Pavana Lachrymae, BK54 (Byrd)
Paven and Galiard, BK100 EKM10 (Byrd)
Paven and Galiard, BK73 (Byrd)
Pavin, BK76 (Byrd)
Post partum (Byrd)
Praeludium to the Fancie, BK12 (Byrd)
Praise our Lord, all ye Gentiles (Byrd)
Prelude and Goodnight Ground a 5 (Byrd)
Prelude and Ground 'The Queen's Goodnight' (Byrd)
Preludium, BK1 (Byrd)
Preludium, BK24 (Byrd)
Prevent us, O Lord (Byrd)
Propter veritatem et mansuetudinem (Byrd)
Quem terra, pontus, aethera (Byrd)
Qui passe, for my Ladye Nevell, BK19 (Byrd)
Quis est homo? (Byrd)
Quodcumque ligaveris (Byrd)
Quomodo cantabimus (Byrd)
Quotiescunque manducabitis (Byrd)
Recordare, Domine (Byrd)
Regina caeli (Byrd)
Rejoice unto the Lord (Byrd)
Responsum accepit Simeon (Byrd)
Rorate caeli (Byrd)
Sacerdotes Domini (Byrd)
Salvator mundi I, BK68 (Byrd)
Salvator mundi II, BK69 (Byrd)
Salve regina a 4 (Byrd)
Salve regina a 5 (Byrd)
Salve sancta parens (Byrd)
Salve sancta parens (Byrd)
Salve sola Dei genetrix (Byrd)
Sellinger's Rownde, BK84 (Byrd)
Senex puerum portabat (Byrd)
Sermone blando a 3 (Byrd)
Sermone blando II a 4 (Byrd)
Sicut audivimus (Byrd)
Sing joyfully (Byrd)
Solve, iubente Deo (Byrd)
Speciosus forma – Eructavit – Lingua mea (Byrd)
Suscepimus Deus (Byrd)
Te Deum  Canticle 2 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Te lucis a 4 (Byrd)
Teach me, O Lord (Byrd)
The Barley Break, BK92 (Byrd)
The Battell, BK94 (Byrd)
The bells, BK38 (Byrd)
The Carman's Whistle 'Air and Variations', BK36 (Byrd/Grainger)
The Carman's Whistle, BK36 (Byrd)
The eighte pavian, BK17 (Byrd)
The fifte pavian and galliarde, BK31 (Byrd)
The First Pavan and Galliard (Byrd)
The firste pavian and galliarde, BK29 (Byrd)
The fourth pavian and galliarde, BK30 (Byrd)
The French Coranto, BK21a (Byrd)
The Galliard for the Victorie, BK95 (Byrd)
The Ghost, BK78 (Byrd)
The Great Service (Byrd)
The Hunt's Up, BK40 (Byrd)
The Marche before the Battell, BK93 (Byrd)
The Mayden's Songe, BK82 (Byrd)
The nynth pavian and galliarde, the Passinge mesures, BK2 (Byrd)
The Queenes Alman, BK10 (Byrd)
The Second French Coranto, BK21b (Byrd)
The Second Ground, BK42 (Byrd)
The second pavian and galliarde, BK71 (Byrd)
The seventh pavian, Canon 2 parts in 1, BK74 (Byrd)
The Third French Coranto, BK21c (Byrd)
The third pavian and galliard, BK14 (Byrd)
The Trumpetts  Extract of The Battell, BK94 (Byrd)
This day Christ was born 'A Carroll for Christmas Day' (Byrd)
Though Amaryllis dance (Byrd)
Timete Dominum – Venite ad me (Byrd)
Tollite portas – Ave Maria (Byrd)
Tollite portas (Byrd)
Tribue, Domine (Byrd)
Tribulatio proxima est (Byrd)
Tristitia et anxietas (Byrd)
Tu es pastor ovium (Byrd)
Tu es Petrus (Byrd)
Turn our captivity, O Lord (Byrd)
Unam petii a Domino (Byrd)
Unto the hills mine eyes I lift (Byrd)
Ut, mi, re, BK65 (Byrd)
Ut, Re, Mee, Fa, Sol, La, The playnesong … by a second Person, BK58 (Byrd)
Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, BK64 (Byrd)
Venite  Canticle 1 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Venite, exsultemus Domino (Byrd)
Vigilate (Byrd)
Visita quaesumus, Domine (Byrd)
Vultum tuum (Byrd)
We praise thee, O God  First line to Te Deum, Canticle 2 of The Great Service (Byrd)
Who likes to love (Byrd)
Will yow walke the woods so wylde, BK85 (Byrd)
Wilson's Wilde, BK37 (Byrd)
Ye sacred Muses (Byrd)
   English   Français   Deutsch