Written by Mark Lawson.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, England was a protestant country standing alone against formidable European and papal enemies. Fear of a Roman Catholic fifth column was rife. But when William Byrd, Elizabeth's favourite composer, is arrested and charged with placing secret papist messages within the music of the Chapel Royal, the court is shocked and panic takes hold among the recusant community.
Byrd's dense polyphony is dissected and decoded and it seems sedition is undeniable. But the composer has a powerful protector - one whom not even Walsingham dare countermand.
Starring Simon Russell Beale as Byrd and Anton Lesser as Walsingham.
Musical Director: Neil Brand
Directed by Eoin O'Callaghan
A Big Fish production for BBC Radio 4.