Posts Tagged ‘ Tudor Music ’

William Byrd (±1539-1623): Plorans Plorabit

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September 12, 2014

William Byrd captioned 150x220pxByrd's five part (SAATB) setting of verses seventeen and eighteen from Jeremiah 13 was published in the 1605 Gradualia. It's a bit unusual in that unlike most of the content of the 1605 gradualia  it's not a liturgical motet. Further more its text was manifestly chosen as a reference to  the situation of the English Catholic community and their persecution at the hands of an increasingly hostile protestant state. In fact in choosing these particular verses Byrd was going quite a bit further than he'd gone before in warning the monarch and his queen (James I and Anne of Denmark) that their continuing to hold the Lord's flock captive would lead to divine retribution unless they humbled themselves :

Plorans plorabit, et deducet oculus meus lacrimas, quia captus est grex Domini. Dic regi et
dominatrici: Humiliamini, sedete, quoniam descendit de capite vestro corona gloriae vestrae.

Mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away
captive. Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your
principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory.

Jeremiah 13, vv. 17–18

The sense of grief throughout this lament for the condition of his fellow Catholics is palpable it's a flood of grief and anger that sweeps all before it. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): The Battell – Philip Jones Brass Ensemble – YouTube

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September 6, 2014

Found it! Thank you YouTube I've been looking for this for a quite a while – Byrd's "Battell" transcribed and absolutely stunning. It's played here by the renowned and now alas long since defunct Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. There's an absolutely superb article by Sally Mosher on the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship site which is well worth reading and which you'll find here William Byrd’s “Battle” and the Earl of Oxford. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Domine ante te omne desiderium

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August 29, 2014

This terse but wonderful six-part setting of two verses from Psalm 37 (Psalm 38 in protestant Bibles) is an early piece which exists only in manuscript. I love how the first verse is so … … … tenative and how it gathers pace, and conviction, as Byrd moves the motet forward to describing in music the Psalmist's feelings.
Enjoy :-)

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Lullaby ‘My sweet little baby’

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August 12, 2014

When he published Psalms, Sonets, and songs of Sadnes and Pietie in 1588 Byrd wrote that he hoped it would 'perswade everyone to learne how to sing' all of the songs in the 1588 book are very distinctive in their concentration on a beautiful sound, on harnessing the expressive power of the human voice. They're all pieces that repay frequent listening or as Byrd put it "a song that is well and artificially made cannot be well perceived nor understood at the first hearing, but the oftener you shall heare it, the better cause of liking you will discover" I've long since lost count of how many times I've listened to this performance of the Winter Lullaby, an early work that shows Byrd's consummate mastery of that most difficult art, writing a good tune. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Edmund Turges (?1450-????): From stormy windes

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July 4, 2014

Arthur Tudor 180x250 captioned I can tell you very little about Edmund Turges we don't know where or when he was born – although London around 1450 is a reasonably good guess. We know that he was admitted to the London parish clerks' company of the Fraternity of St Nicholas between 1468 and 1470 and we know that his songs were played at the court of Henry VII. It's almost certain that Turges himself moved in the court's musical circles and was commissioned to write songs for particular occasions such as his part-song From stormy wyndis which was addressed to Arthur, Prince of Wales (b 1486; d 1502), either to mark his betrothal (1497) or marriage (1501) to Catherine of Aragon, or to pray for his safety before setting out on a journey. Of those three possibilities I think that it was most likely the song was composed for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon because the date 1501 has been added as a note to the lowest voice-part by a later hand furthermore it was used Browne for his setting of Stabat iuxta Christi crucem the next year which suggests to me that Browne was capitalising on the familiarity and popularity of the song. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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