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Laudibus in sanctis

5vv; Cantiones Sacrae 1591 i–ii
author of text
Psalm 150, paraphrased

This joyful and quite extended setting of an anonymous poetic paraphrase of Psalm 150 opens the 1591 Cantiones Sacrae. It is interesting that Byrd wrote very few madrigals but was willing, here and elsewhere in his sacred works, to adopt madrigal techniques—word-painting, dance rhythms and clear sectional construction—if he so chose. Laudibus in sanctis is one of the most madrigalian of Byrd’s motets, a feature that in 1591 would have seemed novel and even revolutionary. An interpretative conundrum presents itself in the ‘laeta chorea pede’ section: Brown (in The Byrd Edition) and Kerman are categorically certain that the dotted minim here is equivalent to the semibreve of the preceding and following sections. There are no manuscript sources for this piece; is it possible that there is a mistake in the only source we have, Byrd’s printed edition? Proportional notation was confusing and sometimes ambiguous even to sixteenth-century musicians.

from notes by John Rutter © 1989


Byrd: Ave verum corpus & other sacred music
CSCD507Download only
Byrd: Laudibus in sanctis & other sacred music


Track 16 on CDA67568 [5'44]
Track 9 on CSCD507 [5'20] Download only

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