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Magnificat - Where late the sweet birds sang - The Irish Times


14 December 2012
The Irish Times
Micahel Dervan

The extensive note for this new disc of Latin music from Tudor England quotes a translation of an annotation from a copy of Robert White's Lamentations a 5: "Mournful to me these words of the plangent prophet of old times/Yet more mournful this music now sounding forth from its maker". Given that Latin was largely prohibited in English church services at the time, we don't fully understand the circumstances that gave rise to the eight settings here by White, William Byrd and Robert Parsons. But we can be glad that these grave, imposing works survived the devastations of religious strife, and that their at times almost overpowering richness has been recorded by Philip Cave's Magnificat with such faithful thoroughness.
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