The tessitura of Byrd’s surprisingly continental sounding five-part (ATTBB) setting of Circumdederunt me the text of which is adapted from Psalm 17 verses 5-7 in the Vulgate moves ever upwards becoming ever more intense until we come to his pleas O Domine, libera animam meam (O Lord, free my soul) at which point the music subsides at though exhausted. It’s a relatively early work – it’s published in the 1591 Cantiones Sacrae. Enjoy :-).
William Byrd (±1539-1623): Circumdederunt me
Circumdederunt me dolores mortis,
Psalm 17 (16): 5-7, adapted
The sorrows of death have surrounded me,
- Contrapunctus conducted by Owen Rees