300348: Masses for 3, 4 and 5 voices
Click on a thumbnail to see the full image.
A full-colour facsimile edition drawn from Oxford, Christ Church Mus. 489-493. Among the most recognisable works in the sacred Tudor repertory, William Byrd’s Masses for 3, 4, and 5 voices are presented in this facsimile edition produced from Christ Church Mus 489-493. Edited by John Milsom with an introduction and select bibliography by Kerry McCarthy. This useful academic and performing resource would also be an intriguing gift for any bibliophile, or music lover.
Format: 160 x 216 mm. 5 partbooks, 32, 24, 32, 24, 32 pp respectively, limp bound in a lightweight slipcase.
When Byrd set the mass to music in the early 1590s, he was doing something no English composer had done for thirtyyears. Given the political and cultural risks involved, it is surprising that he managed to do it at all. The 1559 Act of Uni-formity strictly forbade the celebration of the old Catholic liturgy in England. Those who went on cultivating it could be punished with fines, imprisonment, or, in exceptional cases, even death. What had taken place daily at every pre-Reformation altar, from the humblest parish church to the greatest cathedral, was now a rare and dangerous luxury. Centuries later, these works enjoy exceptional popularity, performed in both the Catholic and protestant liturgies, as well as inconcert programmes. The printed partbooks are easy to read, even for amateur choirs, and should surely be on the shelves of anyone with an interest in music or liturgy of the Tudor period.