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Siderum rector

Cantiones Sacrae, 1575
author of text
from the hymn Virginis proles

From the 1575 Cantiones Sacrae, this heart-easingly gracious and flowing hymn-setting (Byrd calls it ‘hymnus’) is an experiment based on a Ferrabosco model. The experiment consisted in following the metre of a hymn text in music whose note values matched the long and short syllables of the poetry rather exactly. (This idea, vers mesuré, had been in the air for a while.) Byrd, aware of the risk of monotony inherent in the rather insistent Sapphic metre of Siderum rector, wisely set only two stanzas, and provided variety by swapping the melody between soprano and tenor and adding a little polyphonic elaboration to the plain texture.

from notes by John Rutter © 1989


Byrd: Ave verum corpus & other sacred music
CSCD507Download only


Track 5 on CSCD507 [2'50] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CSCD507 track 5

Recording date
1 April 1989
Recording venue
Great Hall, University College School, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Jillian White
Recording engineer
Campbell Hughes
Hyperion usage
  1. Byrd: Ave verum corpus & other sacred music (CSCD507)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: October 2002
    Download only
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