The Catholic Culture Podcast: Episode 49 – A Catholic Composer in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, Pt. I

Sep 4, 2019

One of England’s greatest composers, William Byrd is a
fascinating and complicated figure of Catholic musical history. A
musician in the Royal Chapel of Queen Elizabeth, he associated with
the highest ranks of the Anglican establishment while writing music
on the side for secret Catholic masses. In this first of two
episodes on Byrd, singer and scholar Kerry McCarthy sets Byrd in
the context of the musical and religious upheavals of
post-Reformation England. She discusses how he navigated English
court circles as well as his secret Catholic activities, including
his three masses.

In this episode you will hear the following pieces by Byrd (all
used with kind permission from the groups named):

Fantasia #2 for consort, performed by The Rose Consort of Viols
on Byrd: Consort and Keyboard Music, Songs and

Rejoice Unto the Lord, performed by The Rose Consort of Viols
with Tessa Bonner on the same album

Agnus Dei from the Mass for four voices, performed by VOCES8
on A Choral Tapestry

Agnus Dei from the Mass for five voices (Gesualdo


Kerry McCarthy, Byrd

Interview with Barnaby Smith of VOCES8


The Gesualdo Six

The Rose Consort of Viols

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