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Donald Macleod charts William Byrd's rise from boy chorister at the Chapel Royal, where he met Thomas Tallis, to winning his first music director post, at Lincoln Cathedral.

Donald Macleod looks at Byrd's early life. The celebrated composer began his career as a boy chorister at the Chapel Royal, becoming apprentice to its organist, Thomas Tallis, before winning his first music director post at Lincoln Cathedral.

Religious intolerance cast a long shadow over the life and music of William Byrd. As a Roman Catholic in Elizabethan England, he was persecuted by the state and often forced to tread a dangerous path between his personal convictions and his duty to the Queen.
His musical talent and his strength of character enabled him not just to survive, but thrive. Despite his trials he was, and continues to be, celebrated as the greatest British musician of his age.

By the time he was twenty, Byrd had already served under four successive monarchs. He experienced first-hand how musicians were put at the front line in the battle of faiths, as Britain's rulers see-sawed between new Anglican religion and Roman Catholicism.
Donald follows young William to his first proper job, at Lincoln Cathedral, where he composed for voices and instruments. At Lincoln he also converted to Catholicism, a decision that would profoundly affect the rest of his life.

O lord, make thy servant Elizabeth
Tallis Scholars
Peter Philips, director

Great Service (Hodie, Psalm 47, Magnificat)
Musica Contexta
The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble
Steven Devine, organ
Simon Ravens, director

In Nomine, a5 (IV)
Rose Consort of Viols

Christe qui Lux es, a4 (III)
In Nomine, a 5 (V)
Phantasm

Second Service (Magnificat)
Choir of Magdalen college Oxford
Fretwork
Ryan Leonard, organ
Bill Ives, director

Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, :a
Davitt Moroney, organ

Libera me Domine et pone
Alamire
David Skinner, director.

1 hour

Music Played

  • William Byrd

    O lord, make thy servant Elizabeth

    Choir: Tallis Scholars. Conductor: Peter Phillips.
    • GIMELL RECORDS : CDGIM-011.
    • GIMELL RECORDS.
    • 7.
  • William Byrd

    Great Service: Hodie, Psalm 47, Magnificat

    Performer: Steven Devine. Choir: Musica Contexta. Ensemble: The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble. Conductor: Simon Ravens.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-0789.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 15.
  • William Byrd

    In Nomine a 5 (IV)

    Performer: Rose Consort of Viols.
    • WOODMANSTERNE : 001-2.
    • WOODMANSTERNE.
  • William Byrd

    Christe qui Lux es a4 (III)

    Ensemble: Phantasm.
    • Linn: CKD372.
    • Linn.
    • 19.
  • William Byrd

    In Nomine a 5 (V)

    Ensemble: Phantasm.
    • Linn: CKD372.
    • Linn.
    • 19.
  • William Byrd

    Second Service: Magnificat

    Performer: Ryan Leonard. Ensemble: Fretwork. Choir: Magdalen College Oxford Choir. Conductor: Bill Ives.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMU-907440.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 4.
  • William Byrd

    Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la

    Performer: Davitt Moroney.
    • Hyperion: CDA665517.
    • Hyperion.
    • 4.
  • William Byrd

    Libera me Domine et pone

    Choir: Alamire. Director: David Skinner.
    • Obsidian: CD706.
    • Obsidian.
    • 5.

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