William Byrd (1543-1623) was forced to disguise his Roman Catholicism in Protestant England, and, though providing many choral works in English for Queen Elizabeth I’s Chapel Royal, he secretly wrote some of the most captivating and soul-wrenching works for clandestine Catholic chapels in the homes of sympathetic English aristocrats. The foremost of these is his Mass for 4 Voices, now recognized as among the greatest of all Renaissance choral works. Knowing that the very act of writing this music was illegal, he poured into it the depths of his anguish and passion, and the result is truly breathtaking. Performed by a Cameo group of 12 singers, and reproducing the hushed, darkened atmosphere of a secret chapel, the Mass will be complemented by several of Byrd’s shorter works, both in Latin and English, to round out the program.
October 30, 7:30 pm
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