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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: 2 minutes 45 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)

Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes
composer
6vv; Gradualia 1607 xlv
author of text
Psalm 116 (117)

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
There are some miscellaneous pieces in the Gradualia collections. It is possible that these were to be used during recusant services but it is perhaps more likely that they belong in the realm of spiritual entertainments for the home. Venite, exsultemus Domino and Laudate Dominum (both published in 1607) are settings of Psalm 94: 1–2 and the whole of Psalm 116 respectively. Byrd has not provided settings of the doxology to either piece but has added an affirmatory Alleluia and Amen to Venite, exsultemus Domino. Both pieces show Byrd flexing his considerable musical and intellectual muscle. Instrumental in concept, they rely on close imitation and vocal dexterity, indeed the writing in Venite, exsultemus is sometimes more reminiscent of the development section of a Classical symphony, with melodic cells thrown from one voice to another as the drama of the piece develops.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2010

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