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Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices • Digital File Download • St. Andrew's Academy Choir

Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices • Digital File Download • St. Andrew's Academy Choir

Regular price $10.00 USD
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One of three unaccompanied masses Byrd composed during the 1590s—a masterpiece of late Elizabethan polyphony performed by St. Andrew's Academy Choir.

The Mass for Three Voices (1593-1594) is a setting of the sections of the Ordinary: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Byrd wrote the work for use by Catholics during a period when celebration of the mass was strictly forbidden. Still, Catholics (or recusants, as they were then known in England), continued to perform their central act of worship under cover of strict secrecy. Byrd's masses were therefore composed for practical use and conceived expressly for small-scale, furtive performances.

The Mass for Three Voices is the briefest of Byrd's three masses, almost certainly because the opportunities for passing thematic material from one voice to another are restricted by such a small number of parts. There is no evidence that Byrd had a particular vocal disposition in mind, and the mass works as well for soprano, alto, and tenor as it does for alto, tenor, and bass, or even tenor, baritone, and bass. Such flexibility is obviously logical, given the conditions under which the work was originally intended to be sung.

NOTE: current orders are preorders —shipping expected by July. Order emails with download link will be sent out in the order received.

Please respect copyright.  This purchase licenses the purchaser to use music in one Church service, and/or at one home. Please do not copy and distribute.

Play sample below.


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