William Byrd (±1539-1623): Salve sancta parens

Salve sancta parens (Hail, holy parent) is the Introit at Mass for´the Nativity of the Virgin which is celebrated on September 8th. Byrd published this setting of it in the first volume of Gradualia in 1605 it’s a relaxed and confident piece of music with an upward sweeping melody and an interesting use of tone alternation in the first verse with the word for heaven (caelum) being sung in B natural and the word for the earth (terramque) being sung in B flat.  This sort of musical playfulness suffuses the 1605 Gradualia gone is the dark anguish of the Cantiones Sacræ instead we hear the music of a man happy and secure in the relative safety of a community of fellow believers. Enjoy :-)


William Byrd (±1539-1623): Salve sancta parens

Salve sancta parens, enixa puerpera regem:
qui caelum terramque regit in saecula saeculorum.
Hail, holy parent, who brought forth the king:
who rules the heaven and the earth for ever and ever. Alleluia.
Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum:
dico ego opera mea regi.
My heart overflows with a good word:
I dedicate my works to the king.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper
et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Introit at Lady Mass in Eastertide; Introit at Mass for the Nativity of the Virgin

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Performers: The Cardinall’s Musick, Andrew Carwood (conductor)

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