Tag Archives: William Byrd

Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Th. Morley – Dances for Broken Consort, from the First Booke of Consort Lesson (1599)


Th. Morley – Dances for Broken Consort, from the First Booke of Consort Lesson (1599)

From THE FIRST BOOKE OF CONSORT LESSONS, made by diuers exquisite Authors, for six Instruments to play together, the Treble Lute, the Bandora, the Cittern, the Base-Violl, the Flute & Treble-Violl
[published by William Barley in 1599]

William Byrd [1543-1623]
I. Mounsier’s Almaine – 0:05

John Dowland [1562-1626]
II. Lachrimae Pavan2:39

Anonymous composer [16th c.]
III. Michill’s Galliard – 7:15

John Dowland
IV. My Lord Chamberlain’s Galliard (lute duet) – 9:31

Richard Nicholson [c.1570 – Oxford, 1639]
V. The Jew’s Dance – 12:04

John Dowland
VI. Captaine Piper’s Pavan – 13:51
VII. Galliard – 18:07

William Byrd
VIII. My Lord of Oxenford’s Maske – 21:12

Thomas Morley [1557/8-1602]
IX. La Coranta- 24:05
X. Lavolto (La volta) – 26:32

Performed by The Early Music Consort of London
dir. David Munrow (recorder)
D. Nesbitt (triple viol), Jane Ryan (bass viol)
Desmond Dupre (Renaissance lute)
Ian Harwood (cittern)
Robert Spencer (pandora / lute)

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“Christe, Qui Lux Est et Dies” by Byrd, translated with lyrics

Here’s another piece from 16th century English composer William Byrd, titled “Christe, Qui Lux Es et Dies” or “Christ, Who Art the Light and the Day,” with lyrics, performed by Stile Antico in 2007, and loosely translated by me. This video is from my blog, When Suffering Doesn’t Stop: Life with Chronic Pain at http://life-incessant.blogspot.com/.


William Byrd – Justorum animae. Worcester Cathedral choir

William Byrd (1540 or late 1539 – 4 July 1623) was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard (the so-called Virginian school) and consort music.

Our knowledge of Byrd’s biography has expanded in recent years, thanks largely to the research of John Harley (Harley, 1997). Following the discovery of a document dated 2 October 1598 in which Byrd’s age is given as ’58 years or there about’s it now appears that he was born in 1540. The older dating 1542–3 is derived from Byrd’s will (endorsed on 22 November 1622) which describes him as ‘in the 80th year of my age’. It now becomes clear that it must have been drafted about three years earlier than the date of endorsement. Byrd was born in London, the son of a Thomas Byrd (not Thomas Byrd of the Chapel Royal) about whom little is known. Byrd had two brothers, Symon’d and John, and four sisters. It is clear from a reference in the prefatory material in the Tallis/Byrd Cantiones of 1575 that Byrd was a pupil of Thomas Tallis, then the leading composing member of the Chapel Royal Choir. Byrd also worked in collaboration with two other Chapel Royal singing-men, John Sheppard and William Mundy, on one of his earliest compositions, a contribution to a joint setting of the alternatim psalm In exitu Israel composed for the procession to the font at the Paschal Vigil. As an item for the Sarum liturgy this was presumably composed near the end of the reign of Mary Tudor (1553–1558), whose Catholic beliefs impelled her to revive Sarum liturgical practices during her brief reign. In view of these contacts it is reasonable to speculate that Byrd was a Chapel Royal choirboy, though the surviving records do not name the choristers individually.

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