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Byrd: Anthems, Motets & Services / Bowen, Dyke, Et Al


Release Date: 06/28/2005 
Label:  Griffin   Catalog #: 4048   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  William Byrd
Performer:  Peter Dyke
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a very attractive program that includes many of the most well loved of William Byrd's sacred choral works. While the Ave verum corpus is the most famous, we also hear excellent renditions of several other pieces from the 1605 and 1607 Gradualia and from the Cantiones sacrae of 1589 and 1591. Two services are included--the Second Service and Short Service--as well as two of Byrd's English-texted anthems--Sing joyfully and Teach me, O Lord. The Hereford Cathedral Choir is a first-rate ensemble of men and boys, benefiting from a pleasingly bright but not at all harsh treble sound that blends well with the lower men's voices. Intonation is generally very solid, although these trebles--as most boys of this age singing this kind of Read more music--show occasional lapses throughout the program, but nothing prolonged or distracting. In all, the singing here makes a fine impression, whether in the slower, more meditative works (Justorum animae; Ave verum corpus) or the brighter, busier pieces (Sing joyfully; Laetentur caeli).


My problem with the recording is that it suffers from too much resonance, causing a kind of ear-tiring effect over the course of 15 or 20 minutes--not to mention a serious loss of detail, particularly in the inner and lower parts. And of course, this is a shame given the importance and beauty of the interior lines in Byrd's music. The problem is common to many choral recordings made in large cathedrals, and although it's nice to get a sense of the cathedral ambience for music like this, when heard through your home speakers the space and accompanying resonating sound can overwhelm the music and the voices that we look forward to hearing. I remember a Priory recording of this same choir from the late-1980s, which was just as full-sounding but had greater clarity and detail. I'd love to hear this current incarnation of the choir in a similar, more complementary presentation.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Liber primus sacrarum cantionum: Ne irascaris Domine by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1589; London, England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
2.
Liber primus sacrarum cantionum: Laetentur coeli by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1589; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
3.
Gradualia, Volume 2: Senex puerum portabat a 4 by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
4.
Sing joyfully unto God our strength by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: English 
5.
Vigilate by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissaince 
Written: pub 1589; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
6.
Gradualia, Volume 1: Part 1 - no 31, Iustorum animae by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1605; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
7.
Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Haec dies by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1591; London, England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
8.
Teach me, O Lord by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: English 
9.
Rorate Caeli by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1605 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
10.
Second Service by William Byrd
Performer:  Peter Dyke (Organ)
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: English 
11.
Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Exsurge, quare obdormis, Domine? by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1591; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
12.
Short Service: Magnificat by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
13.
Short Service: Nunc dimittis by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
14.
Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum: Laudibus in sanctis by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1591; London, England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
15.
Gradualia, Volume 2: Psallite Domino by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
16.
Gradualia, Volume 2: Non vos relinquam orphanos by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
17.
Gradualia, Volume 1: Part 2 - Ave verum corpus by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1605; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 
18.
Gradualia, Volume 1: Part 2 - no 3, Sacerdotes Domini by William Byrd
Conductor:  Geraint Bowen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hereford Cathedral Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1605; England 
Date of Recording: 01/2005 
Venue:  Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, England 
Language: Latin 

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