Album: William Byrd, Assumpta est Maria (Hyperion)

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The Independent Culture

Since even possessing acopy of Byrd's 1605"Gradualia" could land anEnglish Catholic in troublewith the early Jacobeanauthorities, it's notsurprising that only oneset of the publicationsurvives in its first edition.

Byrd himself lived toa ripe old age, but someof his associates werenot so lucky. In thesesettings of hymns to theVirgin Mary for three,four and five voices, TheCardinall's Musick underAndrew Carwood showthe deep feeling as wellas the dignity of theseillicit and originallysecret settings.