Byrd: The Great Service & Anthems (Digital Deluxe Version)

Byrd: The Great Service & Anthems (Digital Deluxe Version)

CKD 608 Sleeve
CKD 608D
Booklet available for download
Album information

The Odyssean Ensemble’s impressive debut recording features the Great Service of William Byrd, a rather neglected work of genius interspersed with some contemporaneous anthems and readings by the actor David Suchet.

Uniquely the Odyssean Ensemble performs the piece in a new performing edition created by Byrd expert Andrew Johnstone, who also contributes fascinating booklet notes. Accompanied by a reconstructed Goetze & Gwynn Tudor organ (the St Teilo organ, expertly played by Christian Wilson), director Colm Carey leads listeners into Byrd’s rich and colourful sound world. Contemporary readings from Cranmer’s newly created Book of Common Prayer of 1549 give the performance a unique historical context and help transport the listener back to the period when this piece was written.

The music in the Great Service is of unparalleled proportions and inexhaustible variety; Byrd vividly represents the text at every opportunity stimulating the listener’s imagination. The Great Service encapsulates the canticles that were sung during the services of Matins and Evensong, which made up an important part of the Book of Common Prayer.

This recording continues the Odyssean Ensemble’s exploration of English music of the 16th century, perhaps one of the golden eras of musical composition.