"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
BYRD ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
Stondon Singers in Stondon Massey Church
year's concert featured an early Tudor mass setting by Byrd's teacher
John Sheppard – the Western Wind, based on a popular song, whose
choral textures are often distilled to solo voices, for example in
the Crucifixus and the Benedictus. Sung with lucidity and precision
by the Stondons, conducted by Christopher Tinker. Just as enjoyable
was the lollipop which closed the evening: Richard Genée's Insalata
Italiana, an amusing parody of opera, using the gamut of Italian
score markings, from piano to piu mosso, fronted by the impressive
bass of Mark Ellis.
the main theme of the programme was the influence on Byrd of another
foreigner, the madrigalist and secret agent Alfonso Ferrabosco. So,
helped by a brief talk by Richard Turbet, we could play compare and
contrast, and spot the difference, for example with two very
different settings of Susanna Fair, and two strikingly similar songs
called The Nightingale.
to end the first half, a collector's item, long misattributed, O
Praise Our Lord. A lively piece, which, like the opening Laudibus in
Sanctis, enumerates the instruments of praise, like "the
gladsome sound of silver bells", before sinking back into a
is traditional, we take refreshment amongst the gravestones.
Somewhere in this remote churchyard William Byrd is buried, and may
feel the footfall of those faithful few who still value his music and