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Track(s) taken from CDH55047

Alleluia – Ave Maria

Gradualia I
author of text
Luke 1: 28

William Byrd Choir, Gavin Turner (conductor)
Recording details: March 1990
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Gary Cole
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: November 1990
Total duration: 4 minutes 19 seconds

Other recordings available for download

The Cambridge Singers, John Rutter (conductor)


'Just for fun I listened to all nine Alleluia settings one after the other and was astonished at the variety and interest of the music … Byrd at his most impressive and sublime here in the glorious Nunc Dimittis and in the delicate intricacy of Optimam partem. The recording and performances are superb' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)
No one really knows how William Byrd, for all that he was acknowledged at the time (and now) as the greatest English composer of his day, was able to write and publish music openly intended for the Catholic liturgy at a time when the practice of that faith was illegal in England. It is indeed possible that he was protected by the favour of Queen Elizabeth; but his most ‘Catholic’ collection, the Gradualia, was published in the more rabidly anti-Catholic period of James I’s reign—Volume 1, indeed (from which Alleluia – Ave Maria comes), actually in the year of the Gunpowder Plot, 1605. Byrd’s intention in the Gradualia was to provide music for all occasions of the Church’s year, and this motet is typical of many in the collection: concise, unostentatious and devout in expression, with a texture fluidly alternating between skilfully woven polyphony and simple block chords.

from notes by Collegium Records © 1992

Other albums featuring this work

Hail! Queen of Heaven
CSCD508Download only
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