William Byrd and the Ave verum corpus

The conversion of England from the Roman Catholic church to the Church of England by King Henry VIII (and later Queen Elizabeth I) forced those who wished to practice Catholicism to do so covertly, as penalties included fines, scrutiny, torture or death. All vestiges...

Stabat mater

The Stabat Mater is a hymn to Mary, portraying her suffering as Jesus Christ’s mother during his crucifixion. The title comes from its first line, Stabat Mater dolorosa, which means “the sorrowful mother was standing”. The earliest version of the...

Mass for Four Voices

William Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices is a choral Mass setting composed around 1592 – 93 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Like most masses, it consists of fives sections: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus, Agnus Dei. It is a noted example of English...

Exhausted yet fulfilled

I think of five of us who sang tonight feel exhausted yet so fulfilled. Our first concert of the season was such a joy to perform. The music was great and the voices angelic. From the comments received, the audience loved it. The acoustics at St Thomas the Apostle in...