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The William Byrd Edition, Vol. 5: The Masses

6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 24, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Fant in d - Patrick Russill
  2. Mass: Kyrie
  3. Mass : Gloria
  4. Mass: Credo
  5. Mass: Sanctus
  6. Mass: Agnus Dei
  7. Voluntary - Patrick Russill
  8. Mass: Kyrie
  9. Mass: Gloria
  10. Mass: Credo
  11. Mass: Sanctus
  12. Mass: Agnus Dei
  13. Fant in C - Patrick Russill
  14. Mass: Kyrie
  15. Mass: Gloria
  16. Mass: Credo
  17. Mass: Sanctus
  18. Mass: Agnus Dei

Product Details

  • Performer: William Byrd, Andrew Carwood, David Skinner, The Cardinall's Musick
  • Audio CD (October 24, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00004WMX6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,765 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sator on August 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The music of William Byrd (c.1535/40 - 1623) was written in a paranoid and oppressive environment where the slightest gesture of pro-Catholicism could in the wrong context lead to imprisonment, torture and execution. Some even proposed taking away children from Catholic families to prevent them from passing on their beliefs to their offspring. The celebration of the Catholic mass too was forbidden, though still practiced in great fear and secrecy. It is into such a social environment that these works were born to be sung in privacy for fear of being discovered. The results are work of the greatest intimacy, darkness and mysticism - works that are arguably the greatest to have ever have flowed from the pen of an English composer. Indeed, Byrd is the yardstick by which all other English composers should be measured in the same way that Shakespeare is the yardstick for English literature.

The Cardinall's Musick are yet another group whose founder can be traced back to Cambridge. Andrew Carwood founded the group in 1989, which under his direction has developed a style of choral singing characterised by an unusually forthright and full-blooded approach, at least when compared to other groups originating out of Cambridge. In an age with so many Oxbridge choirs recording music by countless semi-obscure English composers, always to rapturous praise by English reviewers, it is easy to lose interest in this self-absorbed local scene of questionable international significance. Yet, whether you read German, French or Franco-Flemish commentators on music of the Renaissance, Byrd is as unquestionably accepted as a major composer as Shakespeare is as a major writer.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Reischling on March 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I got to meet conductor David Skinner while studying at Oxford two summers ago; I found him to be a greatly talented musician and teacher. At a performance of the Cardinall's Musick in Fartheringhay (in a small Renaissance chapel by the castle), he conducted his male chorus so beautifully that it was all I could do to stare at the unstained glass and try hard not to cry. William Byrd was slightly younger than Elizabeth Tudor, and died in 1623. He is arguably the best of English Renaissance performances. His music is simple yet profound, fragile yet overpowering. It's music to examine your soul to.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nan B. Walton on August 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am neither a Byrd scholar nor a person who normally writes critiques for
recordings. I would like to highly recommend this recording as being a
wonderful, highly charged reading of these three masses. I have performed
all three masses in various settings, but Andrew Carwood's choice of warm
and vibrant colors for the masses is both unusual and very thrilling. If
you prefer the etheral color of many who interpret these masses, you may
not appreciate the recording, but if you are one who either regularly
practices the liturgy, or who enjoys a passionate reading of these texts,
I think you will be truly delighted with the disk.

It sounds as if each of the singers takes full responsibility for
adequately presenting each of the texts in the woven lines of Byrd's
settings, and for communicating the passion of these texts to those who
might not understand the Latin, but who can perceive the mystery of faith
hidden therein. The colors added to each text are appropriate to the
differing texts, robust "Gloria", tender and pleading "Kyrie" and "Agnus
Dei", ethereal chorus of the angels and saints for each "Sanctus", and the
dramatic journey of Christ on earth and in heaven in the"Credo", all so
expressively interpreted brought this devout Lutheran to tears at each

Whether you are an affficionado of beautiful music or one for whom the texts
may have a more personal significance, I commend this album to you. The
notes are very well done, informative but written in an engaging manner. If
this isn't enough Byrd for you, The Cardinall's Musick is recording all of
the works of William Byrd, quite an addition to the classical music
library. The organ works of William Byrd which are inserted between each of
the mass settings is a brilliant touch, as your ears are refreshed to hear
each mass on its own. Well done!
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