Haec Dies: Byrd and the Tudor Revival

Delphian regulars the Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge explore the fascinating relationship between sixteenth- and early twentieth-century music as understood by the pioneers of the Tudor revival in England.

Centred on Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices – revelatory and influential listening for a whole host of later composers – this mosaic of reworkings, reimaginings and lovingly crafted homages is brought to life with all the scholarly acumen and full-throated fervour that we have come to expect from one of Britain’s finest choirs.

"Byrd's Mass for Five Voices...[is] given an incisive, warmly blended performance by the mixed voices of the Gonville & Caius Choir...Is there occasionally a touch too much extroversion in these performances? Possibly, but so much warmth and positivity is communicated it would be ridiculous to object."

"It is the juxtaposition of the familiar and the unfamiliar that makes [the disc] fascinating...The mixed-voice Caius choir, recorded in the chapel of Worksop College, is quite admirable, as is the playing of the two organ scholars. All praise to Webber for planning, execution and a model booklet-note."

"the Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, sounds responsive and light in texture. The contours of this music might be Tudor, but the autumnal sensibility is pure Late Romantic."

"As concept albums go this is interesting, juxtaposing William Byrd's great five-part mass with a range of 20th-century British works that draw on Tudor sources...The later works feel more idiomatically sung than the Byrd, which is too ample, but the sonorously rich sound of the recording will appeal to all choral music enthusiasts."

"This is a brilliantly conceived disc...under Geoffrey Webber's sure direction [the choir] clearly relishes every moment with both precision and passion. The contributions of the organists Annie Lydford and Nick Lee is on a similar level. Highly recommended."


"A fascinating disc."


Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venues: Worksop College Chapel
Recording dates: 8-10 July 2011
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 17
Release date: 2 July 2012
Album ID: DCD34104
Total playing time: 1:10:54

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