The Caged Byrd – music for voices, viols and harpsichord from a time of persecution

Byrd: Music for Voices, Viols and Harpsichord, from a Time of Persecution, Vol. 2 - I Fagiolini

I Fagiolini with Concordia (viols) and Sophie Yates (virginals)

The CD includes two works which commemorate the martyrdom of Jesuit priest Edmund Campion. ‘Deus venerunt gentes’ is a large-scale piece which uses a psalm text lamenting the death of the chosen to lament (by analogy) the death of Campion. ‘Why do I use my paper, ink and pen’ features almost treasonable verses which were not published at the time:

“My soveraigne Liege behold your subiects end,
your secret foes do misinforme your grace:
who in your cause their holy lives would spend
as traytors dye, a rare and monstrous case,
the bloudy wolfe condemnes the harmles shepe
before the dog, y whiles the sherherds slepe.”

“These moving pieces for an exiled people – the view the Elizabethan Roman Catholics took of themselves – make sense of Byrd in a way that collections by genre often fail to do.” BBC Music Magazine

Rejoice, rejoice
Deus venerunt gentes
Laudibus in sanctis (part 3)


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CHAN 0609
Released 1999

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