This five-part (SSATB or AATTB) motet is part of the set of Propers for The Feast of Saints1 is published by Byrd in the Gradualia of 1605 (no. 29) as part of his project to provide music for the entire Church year on a scale suitable to circumstances in which he and his fellow English Catholics now found themselves.
Gaudeamus omnes which is used here as as the introit for the Mass on The Feast of All Hallows (All Saints) was written as the opening section of the Assumption Mass – Byrd expected those for whom he was composing to know when to re-use music he had written for another occasion. It’s a lively and celebratory piece of music in which Byrd, as you might expect for music intended to celebrate and honour all the saints but in particular those who do not have their own special feast day, lays particular emphasis on rejoicing in the Lord. Enjoy :-).
William Byrd (±1539-1623): Gaudeamus omnes … Sanctorum omnium
Gaudeamus omnes in Domino,
Let us all rejoice in the Lord,
Exsultate iusti in Domino:
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous:
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
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.
Introit at Mass on The Feast of All Saints; Psalm 32: 1
- The Cardinall’s Musick conducted by Andrew Carwood.
- In modern times many people celebrate the day (or night) before this feast, the E’en (evening before) of The Feast of All Hallows – which over the centuries was abbreviated to Halloween. Halloween as such is a secular phenomenon in much the same way as Pancake Tuesday – mfi. ↩