Thursday, 18 December 2014

"All good music is contemporary": Herreweghe records William Byrd

When it comes to Byrd recordings, we really do have an embarrassment of riches. Now Philippe Herreweghe has recorded the Mass for Five Voices and the monumental Infelix Ego with the Collegium Vocal Gent. The maestro shares some of his insights into Renaissance polyphony.

Speaking of Byrd, listen to last weekend's installment of the Music Show on Radio National - it features an interview with the author of a new biography on Byrd, and extracts two pieces from the new recording by the Westminster Cathedral Choir, The Three Masses (Ave Verum Corpus and the Agnus Dei from the Mass for Three Voices). Note: if you stream the program, you can listen to the listed tracks in full, but they are shortened in the mp3 download, probably for copyright reasons.

My favourite part is when the interviewee says, "I'm just imagining Byrd walking down Victoria Street in the 21st century ..."

Westminster Cathedral Choir and Collegium Vocale Gent sing Byrd's music with quite different techniques, but I find each greatly effective.