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William Byrd: The Masses for 3, 4 & 5 voices / Pro Arte Singers, Paul Hillier

Audio Samples

>Byrd, William : Mass for 4 Voices
>Byrd, William : Mass for 3 Voices
>Byrd, William : Mass for 5 Voices (SATTB)

Album Summary

>Byrd, William : Mass for 4 Voices
>Byrd, William : Mass for 3 Voices
>Byrd, William : Mass for 5 Voices (SATTB)
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

William Byrd's three settings of the mass are a remarkable testament to his immense compositional skill and tenacity as a defiant Roman Catholic in the midst of prevailing Anglicanism. Released for the first time in 2002, this budget priced reissue featuring the Pro Arte Singers led by Paul Hillier offers all three of Byrd's exquisite masses on one disc.

Classics Today
These are solid, rich-textured, perfectly balanced performances.. Hillier emphasizes the more dramatic possibilities of the flowing, lyrical lines and finds intense energy in the rhythms of these gorgeous works, especially in the powerfully affecting four-part mass. There's no more moving Agnus Dei than the one that concludes Byrd's four-part setting, and here it's given its most convincingly gripping performance, even slightly edging the Tallis Scholars' exemplary rendition... if this Hillier/Pro Arte Singers set is your only version of these masterpieces you won't be disappointed. As these American singers prove, you certainly don't have to be English to "get" the proper Byrdian style, and you don't have to come from a centuries-old tradition to project the requisite spirituality inherent in these works. I'll not hesitate to recommend this Pro Arte Singers effort for newcomers to this essential, monumental repertoire.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Auer Recital Hall, Bess Meshulam Simon Music Recital Ce (05/2000).



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Works Details

>Byrd, William : Mass for 4 Voices
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Ensemble: Pro Arte Singers
  • Notes: Composition written: 1592-93.
  • Running Time: 20 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1592-1593

>Byrd, William : Mass for 3 Voices
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Notes: Composition written: Circa 1590.
  • Running Time: 15 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1590

>Byrd, William : Mass for 5 Voices (SATTB)
  • Conductor: Paul Hillier
  • Running Time: 18 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: circa 1590