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Hyperion Records

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The Suffering of the Saints: St Paul on the Road to Damascus, from the Heures d'Etienne Chevalier (c1445) by Jean Fouquet (c1420-1480)
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67779
Recording details: April 2009
Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
Release date: February 2010
Total duration: 4 minutes 58 seconds

'Hyperion has done Byrd proud … it's a mixture also of the celebratory, as though the singers were congratulating themselves on a job well done—as well they might—and the pentitential, concluding with the full ensemble in a finely judged and quite extrovert Infelix ego, surely one of Byrd's most memorable motets … the commitment of singers and label alike is a cause for gratitude, perhaps even optimism. Congratulations to all concerned' (Gramophone)

'The Cardinall's Musick pays tribute to the whole landscape of Byrd's genius with a passion that ends the project on a high. As with the earlier instalments, Andrew Carwood's direction and programming are equally inspired … the centrepiece is the searing Infelix ego; here, the recusant Byrd explores a martyr's preparation for death, taking the listener through every emotional extreme before transcending the built-up tension in a glorious coda. The musical imagination of The Cardinall's Musick does full justice to that of Byrd. Unique about this ensemble is its expressiveness, whether members sing seamlessly as one or tug at each other's lines. The group's delivery is a sensual delight' (BBC Music Magazine)

Afflicti pro peccatis nostris
composer
6vv; Cantiones Sacrae 1591 xxvii-xxviii
author of text
Ferial Respond in Lent, Sarum Rite

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Afflicti pro peccatis nostris refers to an older world, using a plainsong cantus firmus throughout, first in the baritone part then moving to the tenor part in the second section. This text would have been used as a Respond during Lent according to the Sarum Rite (the old rite in force throughout most of England before the Reformation) and it is interesting that Byrd has provided cadences in the right places to allow the insertion of plainsong verses.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2010

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