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William Byrd: The Great Service in the Chapel Royal / Steven Devine - Musica Contexta

Audio Samples

>Byrd, William : Gradualia, Volume 2
>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
>Byrd, William : When Israe came out of Egypt, anthem for 5 voices (SAATB)
>Byrd, William : Sing joyfully unto God our strength
>Byrd, William : Prelude for keyboard in C major, MB 24
>Byrd, William : O clap your hands, anthem for 5 voices (SAATB)
>Byrd, William : Fantasia (Verse), for keyboard in C major, no 4, MB 28
>Byrd, William : O Lord, make Thy servant Elizabeth, anthem for 6 voices (SAATTB)

Album Summary

>Byrd, William : Gradualia, Volume 2
>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
>Byrd, William : When Israe came out of Egypt, anthem for 5 voices (SAATB)
>Byrd, William : Sing joyfully unto God our strength
>Byrd, William : Prelude for keyboard in C major, MB 24
>Byrd, William : O clap your hands, anthem for 5 voices (SAATB)
>Byrd, William : Fantasia (Verse), for keyboard in C major, no 4, MB 28
>Byrd, William : O Lord, make Thy servant Elizabeth, anthem for 6 voices (SAATTB)
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Musica Contexta translates literally as 'music interwoven', reflecting the group's primary aim of presenting Renaissance music in the context of its original conception and function. The Great Service, consisting of settings of liturgical texts for Matins, Communion, and Evensong, is among the finest music by William Byrd for the Anglican Church. He wrote this grand-scale work for two five-part choirs who. The endless variety with which Byrd played with the available combinations gives the Great Service a kaleidoscopic character, which is very rare in late Renaissance music.

The Guardian
It's a fascinating piece of musical conjecture, even if the textures sometimes seem a little too overripe.

Gramophone Magazine, September 2012
One of the selling points is the use of cornetts and sackbuts to double the voices in the 'full' sections...In fact the presence of the instruments means that there is a sameness about the sound: splendid in its way, but undifferentiated...The other selling point is the use of Elizabethan pronunciation. An interesting experiement on both counts.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2012
This is a Great Service of great innovation, but one which lacks the vocal and technical consistency of established Byrd interpretations.

The Independent on Sunday, 2nd September 2012
Ravens creates an imagined reconstruction of its performance [at the Chapel Royal]. The result has an almost Iberian flavour but the sense of ceremony, decoration and wealth is powerfully conveyed.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011).



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Works Details

>Byrd, William : Gradualia, Volume 2
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : When Israe came out of Egypt, anthem for 5 voices (SAATB)
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : Sing joyfully unto God our strength
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: circa 1590

>Byrd, William : Gradualia, Volume 2
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : Prelude for keyboard in C major, MB 24
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : Gradualia, Volume 2
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Byrd, William : O clap your hands, anthem for 5 voices (SAATB)
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral

>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : Fantasia (Verse), for keyboard in C major, no 4, MB 28
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : The Great Service, for 5-10 voices
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance

>Byrd, William : O Lord, make Thy servant Elizabeth, anthem for 6 voices (SAATTB)
  • Performer: Steven Devine (Organ)
  • Conductor: Simon Ravens
  • Ensemble: English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
  • Notes: St. John's Church, Upper Norwood, London, England (05/02/2011-05/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral