Hyperion Records

Haec dies
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Haec dies (Psalm 117: 24) is a riot of energy and with its use of triple metre and close imitation it belongs more to the world of the madrigal than the motet. This text is most often used at Easter and the setting which Byrd has produced is perfect for this season. It was also widely believed that these were the final words of the Jesuit Father Edmund Campion who was tortured and executed having arrived from the Continent to minister to the Catholic community in England. Byrd’s setting for six voices could stand in direct opposition to his other Campion-inspired piece, Deus venerunt gentes (1589), and represent Campion’s arrival in heaven rather than his painful departure from earth.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2010

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