William Byrd (±1539-1623): Domine praestolamur – Veni Domine noli tardare

This five-part (ATTBB or SAATB) motet is to be found in the Cantiones sacrae  of 1589 and takes the second part of its text directly from a Sarum rite Respond for 4th Friday in Advent.  Like many of the works in the Cantiones it can be read on two levels the first as a straightforward motet that could be safely be performed wherever the audience appreciated Latin. But with its entreaty to God to come without tarrying and to lift his peoples’ yoke and to ‘set your people free’ it would also be very clearly understood by Byrd’s fellow recusants as expressing their plight no doubt many of them were also comforted by its text in a world that for them was so drastically and disastrously changed singing words they would have known from childhood must been at least a partial consolation. It’s sung below by the Cardinall’s Musick. Enjoy :-)


William Byrd (±1539-1623): Domine praestolamur – Veni Domine noli tardare

Domine, praestolamur adventum tuum, ut cito venias, et dissolvas jugum captivitatem nostrae.

Lord, we look for your coming; would that you would come quickly and lift the yoke that holds us captive.

Veni, Domine, noli tardare, relaxa facinora plebi tuae, et libera populum tuum.

Come, Lord, and do not delay; relieve your folk of their burden of sin and set your people free.

Performers: The Cardinall’s Musick conducted by Andrew Carwood

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