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The Byrd Edition Vol 11 - Byrd: Hodie Simon Petrus / Carwood, Et Al


Release Date: 02/10/2009 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67653   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  William Byrd
Performer:  Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonaldSteven HarroldDavid GouldPatrick Craig,   ... 
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Cardinall's Musick is now at Volume 11 in its long-ongoing--and well-regarded--William Byrd series (which began on ASV), and perhaps it's not surprising that at this point the majority of the motets on offer--from both the Cantiones Sacrae 1591 and the Gradualia 1607--are not among Byrd's better-known works. But the fact that many of these are not familiar and are rarely if ever found on recordings makes this a most welcome release for devotees of this period and especially of this composer.

Listeners interested in comparisons between the generally more solemn character and mood of the 1591 pieces and the somewhat freer-styled (sometimes surprisingly so) motets from the later Gradualia will find themselves well-occupied,
Read more but anyone who loves Byrd will appreciate the unvarying magnificence of the bright and uplifting Nunc scio vere (1607) and the rich, lower-voice timbre of the earnestly desolate Circumdederunt me from 1591 ("The sorrows of death have surrounded me..."). Perhaps most typical of Byrd's enduring mastery of text and voices is the program's final selection, the motet Haec dicit Dominus (1591), which (again employing predominantly lower-register voices) juxtaposes lusciously scored homophonic passages with deliberate, flowing imitative lines above solid, steadily moving harmonies.

Carwood decided to include a Litany (from the Gradualia 1605) along with the group of unusual six-voice motets honoring Saints Peter and Paul, and while this is interesting, uncommonly heard music, its lengthy, repetitive, strictly service-oriented character becomes a bit tedious when heard out of its intended context.

Some listeners may prefer this ensemble's one-to-a-part performance mode, which favors the color and expressive character of individual solo voices over a more polished ensemble blend, and indeed it may more authentically represent the way it would have been heard in Byrd's time, especially in the Catholic enclave at Ingatestone. While I'm inclined to favor a more "blended" ensemble quality involving more voices--found in the Peter and Paul works in excellent performances by The Sixteen on Virgin Classics, available from Arkivmusic.com's "on demand" reissue program--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--in very fine sound from the chapel at Arundel Castle--their next acquisition.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Cantiones sacrae, Book 2: Descendit de caelis by William Byrd
Performer:  Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor), David Gould (Countertenor),
Patrick Craig (Countertenor), Carys Lane (Soprano), Julian Stocker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1591; London, England 
Length: 5 Minutes 33 Secs. 
2. Gradualia, Volume 2: Tu es pastor ovium by William Byrd
Performer:  Caroline Trevor (Alto), Julian Stocker (Tenor), Rebecca Outram (Soprano),
Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor), Edward Grint (Bass)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 3 Secs. 
3. Cantiones sacrae, Book 2: Miserere mei, Deus by William Byrd
Performer:  Steven Harrold (Tenor), David Gould (Countertenor), Robert Evans (Bass),
Carys Lane (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1591; London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 4 Secs. 
4. Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Circumdederunt me dolores mortis by William Byrd
Performer:  Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor), Patrick Craig (Countertenor),
Robert Evans (Bass), Julian Stocker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1591; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 
5. Gradualia, Volume 2: Quodcumque ligaveris by William Byrd
Performer:  Julian Stocker (Tenor), Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass),
Steven Harrold (Tenor), Caroline Trevor (Alto), Edward Grint (Bass)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
6. Cantiones sacrae, Book 2: Recordare, Domine by William Byrd
Performer:  Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor), David Gould (Countertenor),
Patrick Craig (Countertenor), Carys Lane (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1591; London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7. Cantiones sacrae, Book 2: Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? by William Byrd
Performer:  Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor),
Patrick Craig (Countertenor), Julian Stocker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1591; London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
8. Gradualia, Volume 1: Part 2 - Laetania by William Byrd
Performer:  Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor), Patrick Craig (Countertenor),
Julian Stocker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1605; England 
Length: 8 Minutes 57 Secs. 
9. Gradualia, Volume 2: Nunc scio vere by William Byrd
Performer:  Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor),
Robert Evans (Bass), Julian Stocker (Tenor), Caroline Trevor (Alto)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Length: 5 Minutes 23 Secs. 
10. Gradualia, Volume 2: Constitues eos by William Byrd
Performer:  Julian Stocker (Tenor), Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass),
Steven Harrold (Tenor), Robert Evans (Bass), Caroline Trevor (Alto)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
11. Gradualia, Volume 2: Tu es Petrus by William Byrd
Performer:  Julian Stocker (Tenor), Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass),
Steven Harrold (Tenor), Robert Evans (Bass), Caroline Trevor (Alto)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
12. Cantiones sacrae, Book 2: Levemus corda by William Byrd
Performer:  David Gould (Countertenor), Patrick Craig (Countertenor), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass),
Steven Harrold (Tenor), Carys Lane (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1591; London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
13. Gradualia, Volume 2: Hodie Simon Petrus by William Byrd
Performer:  Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor),
Robert Evans (Bass), Caroline Trevor (Alto), Julian Stocker (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
14. Gradualia, Volume 2: Solve iubente Deo by William Byrd
Performer:  Julian Stocker (Tenor), Rebecca Outram (Soprano), Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass),
Steven Harrold (Tenor), Robert Evans (Bass), Caroline Trevor (Alto)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
15. Cantiones sacrae, Book 2: Haec dicit Dominus by William Byrd
Performer:  Julian Stocker (Tenor), David Gould (Countertenor), Robert Evans (Bass),
Robert [Bass Voice] MacDonald (Bass), Steven Harrold (Tenor)
Conductor:  Andrew Carwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Cardinall's Musick
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1591; London, England 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 

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