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Track(s) taken from CDA67653


First line:
Kyrie eleison
4vv; Gradualia 1605 II:xvi; chant derived from Byrd's setting after comparison with Antiphonale ad Usum Sarisb. Ecclesiae, & Processionale ritibus Romanae Ecclesiae (Antwerp, 1602 & 1629)
author of text
Litany of the Saints

The Cardinall's Musick, Andrew Carwood (conductor)
Recording details: November 2007
Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Martin Haskell & Iestyn Rees
Release date: February 2009
Total duration: 8 minutes 57 seconds

Cover artwork: The Martyrdom of St Peter before Emperor Nero (M Fr 71 fol.28) by Jean Fouquet (c1420-1480)
Musée Condé, Chantilly, France / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'The performances are admirably directed, responsive to words, clear in their exposition of counterpoint, carefully blended in the homophonic passages. The Cardinall's Musick is an expert body of singers who know exactly what they are doing' (Gramophone)

'This performance is unparalleled in its depth of expression and intelligence. The Cardinall's Musick unerringly leads the listener to musical events that unlock Byrd's conception … crystalline sound reproduction ensures that every detail is captured. The imaginativeness of the selections for this disc attests to the scholarly expertise informing its production. In short, this performance brings us into the 'heavenly kingdom' longed for by Byrd' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The works for St Peter and St Paul … positively shimmer with exuberance … the beauties of these performances are revealed: litheness, energy and intelligence' (International Record Review)

'The Cardinall's Musick appeal like the most ardent supplicants at the altar rail. The flowing lines are rich with character and the blend is a bold mixture of individuals' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The completion of this series will be a landmark, but don’t wait to hear this beautiful disc' (Fanfare, USA)

'The Cardinall's Musick is certainly one of the world's more authoritative sources for well-researched, committed, fully engaging performances of Byrd's music, and anyone who wants to know the entire range of his work needs no further encouragement from me in making this newest release their next acquisition' (Classics Today)

'It may have been quite a long time coming but this eleventh disc from The Cardinall's Musick in their monumental exploration of William Byrd has certainly been worth the wait. The programme is built from the Cantiones Sacrae of 1591 and the Gradualia of 1607 and focuses on Byrd's recusant music. Throughout their series of recordings this method of interspersing the three books of Cantiones Sacrae with the two of Graduallia has been highly successful and what is most exciting is that it allows Andrew Carwood to be the first director to record the entire music from the Gradualia in liturgically appropriate combinations. Opening this album is the exquisite six-voice setting of Descendit de caelis which immediately confirms that these are performances that are every bit as good as the previous award-winning volume. There can be very few singers in the world just now that have such an understanding of Byrd's vocal works as The Cardinall's Musick and here they give impassioned and immediate performances that move on from the early music stereotypes that used to dominate in this field' (Musical Criticism.com)
The Laetania (Litany) in honour of all the saints is beautiful yet entirely functional music, a world away from the high art form of the other Gradualia pieces. Yet at the words of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) Byrd cannot resist writing music with a more impassioned nature. Not surprising from a man for whom texts, their context and subtext, were clearly everything.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2009

Voilà une musique qui, pour être entièrement fonctionnelle, n’en est pas mois magnifique, à des lieues de la noble forme savant des autres pièces des Gradualia. Mais à l’Agnus Dei (Agneau de Dieu), Byrd ne peut s’empêcher d’écrire une musique plus fervente. Guère surprenant de la part d’un homme pour qui, à l’évidence, les textes—ce qu’il y a autour et dessous—étaient tout.

extrait des notes rédigées par Andrew Carwood © 2009
Français: Hypérion

Das Laetania (Litanei), die alle Heiligen ehrt, ist dies wunderschöne und gleichzeitig rein zweckgebundene Musik, völlig anders als die hohe Kunstform der anderen Gradualia Stücke. Doch kann Byrd bei den Worten des Agnus Dei (Lamm Gottes) es sich nicht versagen, einen leidenschaftlicheren Ton anzuschlagen. Es ist dies kaum überraschend für einen Mann, für den Texte und der jeweilige Kontext und Subtext das Ein und Alles waren.

aus dem Begleittext von Andrew Carwood © 2009
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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