Cambridge Summer Music Festival 2023

The Gesualdo Six: William Byrd a Latin Portrait

Tuesday 18 July, 7.30pm

Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church

The Gesualdo Six
Owain Park

Mass for five voices
Interspersed with a selection of Byrd’s motets
Ave verum corpus
Afflicti pro peccatis nostris
Mass for five voices: Kyrie & Gloria
Tristitia et anxietas
Mass for five voices: Credo
Ave Maria
Mass for five voices: Sanctus & Benedictus
Circumdederunt me
Mass for five voices: Agnus Dei
Emendemus in melius
Memento homo
Laudate pueri Dominum

William Byrd was born into a country tearing itself apart. In 1540, King Henry VIII had just about finished his dismantling of England’s monasteries and convents. The Latin Mass was outlawed and substituted with a pared-down service, now in the vernacular. Writing music in a pre- Reformation style was a dangerous business, afforded only to those who courted royal favour.

The centrepiece of this programme is Byrd’s Mass for five voices, probably the last of a set of three Masses he composed after his move from the Chapel Royal in London to Catholic hibernation in Stondon Massey, Essex. While the Mass text is ritual Latin, the music is deeply intertwined with the motets he wrote. The programme includes a number of these motets which complement the thematic, tonal and textural material of the Mass.

Generously supported by Julia Seiber Boyd 

Tickets: £26 plus booking fee
(Half price for 25 years and under)

BOOKING OPENS for Friends of CSM 9.00am Friday May 5

GENERAL BOOKING opens 9.00am Friday May 12

Gesualdo Six