Author Topic: William Byrd's Perch  (Read 9799 times)

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: The Byrdhouse
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2013, 12:21:29 PM »
I know, I know, the mere alluding to Glenn Gould is anathema for you guys yet I can't help loving his performance of Byrde's music.

Where did you get that idea?  ;D Gould's "Consort of Musicke" album was what convinced me to listen to early keyboard music in the first place. It's a classic.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: The Byrdhouse
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2013, 12:33:11 PM »
Hey, guys, please make allowance... these might very well be my last full-time days on GMG.  :D :D :D
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Offline Octave

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Re: The Byrdhouse
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2013, 11:12:35 PM »
I'm curious what GMG Byrders think about the following recording:


Byrd: MOTETS AND MASS FOR FOUR VOICES (Hillier & Theatre of Voices - ECM)

I mainly know vocal music by Byrd from the Tallis Scholars' ~80s recordings and that disc of the GRADUALIA etc on Musica Omnia.  In fact, I should probably just get the Cardinall's Musick series and be done with it, but still curious about the Hillier recording.
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Offline Mandryka

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William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2015, 10:35:44 AM »



Let me kick this off by saying that I was listening to the CD of Cantiones Sacrae 1589 and Gradualia Bk 1 by the Cardinall's Music the other day, probably superficially, and was struck by how agitated and tense some of them sounded. I've noticed a similar thing in Bull sometimes, the way Leon Berben plays the Walsingham Variations. I guess he lived in pretty turbulent and bitter times for a Catholic.

I hardly know his choral music, I'm slightly more familiar with the instrumental music.

Anyway, here's a thread about everyone's favourite Renaissance Brit.
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Online k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2015, 10:39:52 AM »
Should merge with this, I think.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2015, 11:06:13 AM »
Should merge with this, I think.

Ah. Well can we keep my name or give it a name with Byrd in it? No wonder I didn't find it.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2015, 11:03:52 AM »



Herreweghe has released the Byrd mass a5 with some motets, and I've started to listen to the mass. If you're not looking for the beautiful, impersonal, blended sound English cathedral singers, and you don't object to passionate, slightly agitated, rhetorical expression in this sort of context, then this may be quite a good bet.

I'm not sure how I feel about these questions, yet. I think I find it exciting but callow, but I'm not sure.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2015, 11:41:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline San Antone

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2015, 03:36:49 PM »



Herreweghe has released the Byrd mass a5 with some motets, and I've started to listen to the mass. If you're not looking for the beautiful, impersonal, blended sound English cathedral singers, and you don't object to passionate, slightly agitated, rhetorical expression in this sort of context, then this may be quite a good bet.

I'm not sure how I feel about these questions, yet. I think I find it exciting but callow, but I'm not sure.

All that aside, I am assuming Herreweghe uses a choir, whereas, I vastly prefer OVPP singing the Mass.  There is fairly recent recording (actually a reissue of a recording form 2010) of the Mass with five singers, the Vienna Vocal Consort, that while not perfect (I wish they were an all-male group) would be more enjoyable for me.


Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2015, 12:07:20 AM »



 I think I've found a mass à5 that's a bit special - Deller's.

Transparent, voix égales  balance, each voice full of personality, no sense of that pure blend you get in English cathedral singing. The interpretation is  not really agitated and dramatic and exciting, and hence a contrast with Herreweghe's. The singing style is dated: they sing forth like opera singers and you can hear their posh public school bray behind the words.

I'm not sure what modern scholarship has unearthed about authentic interpretation, maybe someone can help out here. Possibly the Dellers made all sorts of presuppositions about modal purity which made them avoid dissonances, I'm not expert enough to comment with authority on this. But I am sure that this is a historical treasure, and I can't wait to hear them do the mass à 3 and à 4.


Sound quality is not a problem, though clearly dated and a bit harsh.It's a Harmonia Mundi France transfer to CD. Does anyone have the LP? Is the sound good on the LP?
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2015, 10:24:00 PM »



Her voice sticks out because it's so feminine, unboyish. Have you heard Hilliard Ensemble in the 5 part mass?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2015, 10:25:54 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Maciek

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2015, 02:51:11 AM »
Should merge with this, I think.

Done.

Ah. Well can we keep my name or give it a name with Byrd in it? No wonder I didn't find it.

We can keep your name. :)

Offline San Antone

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2015, 05:24:00 AM »
Her voice sticks out because it's so feminine, unboyish. Have you heard Hilliard Ensemble in the 5 part mass?

Yes; that is my go-to recording.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2015, 10:35:46 PM »
I don't think the masses are Byrd's best music. Increasingly the Motets in the 1605 / 1607 Gradualia are getting more and more of my attention - this is possibly his major masterpiece, or one of them.

Having said that, they've been so little recorded it's hard to tell. I've managed to find a polished recording of music from 1607 from a group called Plus Ultra, but IMO  volume 10 of the Cardinall's Musick, which includes a selection of 1605 Gradualia, puts it in the shade, mainly because of the dramatic and passionate performance style. This could well be the best Byrd CD I've heard so far.



It's interesting to compare the style in Cantiones Sacrae with the Gradualia on that disc. The Gradualia are so much more modern, more imaginative, more energetic.

What a shame there doesn't seem to be a complete Gradualia - the project reminds me of Orgelbuchlein and Orgelbuchlein is very satisfying to hear in its entirety, despite not being intended for that. I'm hoping, expecting, the same would be true of the Gradualia.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 10:53:27 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline DaveF

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2015, 12:16:30 AM »
What a shame there doesn't seem to be a complete Gradualia - the project reminds me of Orgelbuchlein and Orgelbuchlein is very satisfying to hear in its entirety, despite not being intended for that. I'm hoping, expecting, the same would be true of the Gradualia.

If you get all 13 volumes of the Cardinall's Musick series, you will end up with all the Gradualia items.  I suppose the argument against recording them entire in isolation is that they're intended to be combined, chopped about, mixed and matched, to furnish the Mass propers for any number of different feasts.  (The prime example is the long "piece" Diffusa est gratia, bits of which turn up in three or four different Masses but which is never performed in its entirety.)

Do you know the old Hyperion disc by the William Byrd choir?:



I believe that was the start (and sadly end) of an attempt to record a complete Gradualia.  It's excellent, and the disc comes with detailed instructions on programming tracks to create the Marian Mass of your choice.  (All you need then is a companion recording of the Mass ordinaries sung at the same pitch.)

DF
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #34 on: November 24, 2015, 10:31:32 AM »
If you get all 13 volumes of the Cardinall's Musick series, you will end up with all the Gradualia items.  I suppose the argument against recording them entire in isolation is that they're intended to be combined, chopped about, mixed and matched, to furnish the Mass propers for any number of different feasts.  (The prime example is the long "piece" Diffusa est gratia, bits of which turn up in three or four different Masses but which is never performed in its entirety.)

Do you know the old Hyperion disc by the William Byrd choir?:



I believe that was the start (and sadly end) of an attempt to record a complete Gradualia.  It's excellent, and the disc comes with detailed instructions on programming tracks to create the Marian Mass of your choice.  (All you need then is a companion recording of the Mass ordinaries sung at the same pitch.)

DF

Thanks, I've ordered that CD.
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kishnevi

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2015, 06:42:01 PM »
I don't think the masses are Byrd's best music. Increasingly the Motets in the 1605 / 1607 Gradualia are getting more and more of my attention - this is possibly his major masterpiece, or one of them.

Having said that, they've been so little recorded it's hard to tell. I've managed to find a polished recording of music from 1607 from a group called Plus Ultra, but IMO  volume 10 of the Cardinall's Musick, which includes a selection of 1605 Gradualia, puts it in the shade, mainly because of the dramatic and passionate performance style. This could well be the best Byrd CD I've heard so far.



It's interesting to compare the style in Cantiones Sacrae with the Gradualia on that disc. The Gradualia are so much more modern, more imaginative, more energetic.

What a shame there doesn't seem to be a complete Gradualia - the project reminds me of Orgelbuchlein and Orgelbuchlein is very satisfying to hear in its entirety, despite not being intended for that. I'm hoping, expecting, the same would be true of the Gradualia.

The Plus Ultra CD is this, I assume.

You can find used copies of this cheaply enough, although I remember it as being far more "polished" than the Plus Ultra recording.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2015, 10:53:02 PM »

The Plus Ultra CD is this, I assume.

You can find used copies of this cheaply enough, although I remember it as being far more "polished" than the Plus Ultra recording.

Yes that's the Plus Ultra. The Chanticleer is available on Qobuz and spotify, under the name "Music for a Hiddden Chapel", and my initial impression is that it's worth hearing. Thanks.

What is this mass "in tempore paschali" and the other masses on the disc? Are they masses chanticleer have assembled themselves from the Gradualia? Is there a good book about Byrd?

I think I need to find out more about what a catholic mass is!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 11:08:18 PM by Mandryka »
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kishnevi

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #37 on: November 25, 2015, 06:36:57 PM »
Yes that's the Plus Ultra. The Chanticleer is available on Qobuz and spotify, under the name "Music for a Hiddden Chapel", and my initial impression is that it's worth hearing. Thanks.

What is this mass "in tempore paschali" and the other masses on the disc? Are they masses chanticleer have assembled themselves from the Gradualia? Is there a good book about Byrd?

I think I need to find out more about what a catholic mass is!

I can't locate my copy at the moment, but I think they assembled appropriate parts of the Gradualia into two sequences to represent the propers of two masses, one for Eastertide, the other a Marian service. In theory one could take Byrd's settings of the ordinary--what we call the Masses for 3/4/5 Voices--as a framework for the proper settings published in the Gradualia, and gain a full liturgical service. But I do not know if anyone has done it. Perhaps the Cardinal's Musick?

Music for a Hidden Chapel was the title used for the reissue on HM's super budget label.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 06:39:32 PM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline DaveF

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #38 on: November 26, 2015, 10:07:40 AM »
In theory one could take Byrd's settings of the ordinary--what we call the Masses for 3/4/5 Voices--as a framework for the proper settings published in the Gradualia, and gain a full liturgical service. But I do not know if anyone has done it. Perhaps the Cardinal's Musick?

No, they haven't, at least not on disc nor in any of their concerts that I know of.  You can of course assemble your own with a CD changer, although the keys often don't come out right (I think it's generally assumed that a complete mass would be performed in the same mode at the same pitch).  This disc:



presents a couple of complete masses (All Saints with the 5-part mass and SS Peter & Paul with the 4-part), but sadly, to my ears, it's not a particularly distinguished disc - distant recording and rather workaday performances.  Worth £2 from am.uk marketplace, though.
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Offline Que

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Re: William Byrd's Perch
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2015, 10:15:46 AM »

The Plus Ultra CD is this, I assume.

I love that one!   :) Definitely an approach that differs from many others.

If you get all 13 volumes of the Cardinall's Musick series [...]


I would be interested to do that - anyone knows when the box set is due? :D

Q