Assumpta Est Maria
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In this latest volume from The Cardinall's Musick's acclaimed Byrd series, the composer's overtly Catholic agenda is clearly displayed. All of the music on this disc is drawn from the first volume of Gradualia published in 1605. The music is a world away from the dark broodings of the Cantiones Sacrae from 1589 and 1591. In these later publications Byrd achieves a fusion of styles, mixing the energy, wordpainting and rhythmic vitality of the secular madrigal tradition with the spirituality and liturgical context of words from the Mass and Divine Office.
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The Cardinall's Musick will be making its first US tour in 2013 (I hope). Go and hear them. And buy the CDs, just because they are the best. The latest in their traversal of Byrd's music was just released: The Great Service and some anthems, all in English.