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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » B » Byrd, William



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William Byrd (01/01/1540 - 7/04/1623)

The greatest English composer of his generation, comparable in stature to his most distinguished continental contemporaries, William Byrd was a versatile composer. Although remaining a Catholic, loyalty that cost him considerable trouble in times of persecution in England, he served as a member of the Chapel Royal, providing music for the liturgy of the Church of England and, on a more private scale, for his fellow Catholics.

Church Music

Byrd’s church compositions may be separated into those for the Catholic liturgy and those designed for the officially recognised Church of England. The first category includes settings of the Mass for three, four and five voices, and a large quantity of other works for the various seasons of the church year. For the Church of England Byrd wrote a Great Service and three other service settings, using the texts of the Anglican liturgy. In addition, there are a number of anthems, psalm settings and consort songs with sacred texts of one sort or another.

Vocal Music

Byrd also wrote a number of secular consort songs—songs with accompaniment entrusted to varying numbers of instruments.

Consort Music

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Discography


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Prokofiev Symphonies 1 & 2



 

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