William Byrd
William Byrd
Most likely born in Lincolnshire in 1543, Byrd was the foremost English composer of his time. As a student of Thomas Tallis he was exposed to music of the Chapel Royal and the best of the English tradition. In 1563 he was appointed organist of Lincoln Cathedral, and by 1572 joined Tallis a gentleman of the Chapel Royal where he shared organist duties with Tallis.

The relationship between Tallis and Byrd was personal as well as professional and in 1575 they jointly published Cantiones Sacrae, 34 motets dedicated to Elizabeth I.
Although Byrd was Catholic in Protestant England, he had no problems with his superiors. Many of his patrons, such as the Earl of Worcester, were Catholics as well, and when England momentarily returned to Roman Church he had no shortage of music to accompany the revival; he had been composing music for underground catholic circles for years. He composed for every branch of music; Consort, Sacred, Keyboard music. He left no instrument without a piece of his music. Byrd's last publication was Psalmes, Songs and Sonnets was in 1611, and he died in 1623.
Byrd's music would go on to affect and shape much of later English music. He music shows the impressions of the Italian, Palestrina, and the Spainish school, Vittoria.
Some of Byrd's Choral works are:up

  • Haec Dies
    is a six part motet for Easter or the season of Easter.
  • Ave Verum Corpus
    is one of Byrd's Latin motets, as a four part motet for passiontide, it is one of the gems of English music.
  • Between 1592 and 1595 Byrd wrote his three masses for the samll Catholic circles of which he was a part. Each one contains a mood or feeling as a oppossed to a set melody, and each movement is a variation on that mood.
  • Mass for Three Voices written sometime in 1593 or 1594. It is a simple Latin mass written for the small Catholic circles of Byrd's time.
  • Mass for Four VoicesThe earliest of the three masses, it was written in 1592.
  • Mass for Five Voices The last of the three masses, most likely written in 1594-5. MASS FOR FIVE VOICES with Propers for the Feast of Corpus Christi
    • Introit Cibavit eos
    • Kyrie
    • Gloria
    • Gradual Oculi omnium
    • Sequence Lauda Sion Salvatorem
    • Credo
    • Offertory Sacerdotes Domini
    • Sanctus
    • Benedictus
    • Agnus Dei
    • Communion Quotiescunque manducabitis
    • Processional Pange lingua gloriosi
  • Marian Masses
    • Suscepimus Deus
    • Iustitia
    • Magnus Dominus
    • Sicut audivimus
    • Alleluia
    • Senex puerum
    • Nunc dimittis servum tuum
    • Responsum accepit Simeon
    • Salve sancta parens
    • Alleluia
    • Eructavit cor meum
    • Benedicta et venerabilis
    • Alleluia
    • Felix es, sacra virgo
    • Beata es, virgo Maria
    • Alleluia
    • Beata viscera
    • Alleluia
    • Rorate coeli
    • Benedixisti Domine
    • Tollite portas
    • Ave Maria
    • Alleluia
    • Ecce virgo concipiet
    • Alleluia
    • Vultum tuum
    • Alleluia
    • Speciosus forma
    • Alleluia
    • Post partum
    • Felix namque es
    • Alleluia - Ave Maria
    • Virga Jesse
    • Gaude Maria
    • Diffusa est gratia
    • Propter veritatem
    • Alleluia
    • Vultum tuum
    • Gaudeamus omnes
    • Assumpta est Maria
    • Assumpta est Maria
    • Optimam partem elegit
  • Ego sum panis vivus
  • Ab ortu solis
  • Alleluia. Cognoverunt discipuli
  • O sacrum convivium
  • O salutaris hostia
  • Bow Thine Ear O Lord
    is from the Cantiones Sacrae
  • O quam gloriosum SSATB
  • Audivi vocem de caelo SAATB
  • Teach me, O Lord SSATB & organ
  • Civitas Sancti Tui (Bow thine ear, O Lord) SATTB & organ
  • Christe, qui lux es et dies (O Christ who art the light and day) SATBB
  • Justorum animae SSATB
  • Cantate Domino SSATB
  • Arise, Lord, into thy rest SSATB
  • Come, help, O God SSATB
  • Miserere Mei SATBB unaccompanied
  • Rorate caeli desuper SAATB
  • Sacerdotes Domini SATB
  • Sing Joyfully SSAATB
  • Victimae Paschali SSATB
  • Vigilate SATBarB
  • Prevent us, O Lord SATB
  • O magnum mysterium SATB
  • Exsurge Domine SATB
  • Laudibus in Sanctis
  • Domine, salve nos SSATTB
  • Emendemus in melius SATTB
  • Laetentur Caeli SATBarB
  • Ne irascaris SATTB
  • Praise our Lord all ye gentiles SSATBB
  • Domine secundum multitudinem SATTB


    Links to other Byrd pagesup


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