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William Byrd: loyal servant of the Crown and devout Catholic

By John Bryan, Rose Consort of Viols and Stile Antico


William Byrd lived a double life. The programme juxtaposes the two sides of his musical character: the brilliant gems composed for the courts and chapels of the Protestant monarchs Elizabeth I and James I, contrasted with the Latin motets he published for secret services held by those of the old faith at a time when Catholics endured dire persecution. It is music whose intensity resonates with us still

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