This weekend, we are back in the rehearsal room to start preparing for our upcoming Christmas concert.
This year, we will be celebrating the work of English composer William Byrd with a selection of his glorious sacred works.
William Byrd was born c1540 and died in 1623. He was one of the leading composers of the Renaissance era in England. Whilst the details of his early life are largely undocumented, he is thought to have been born in London and it is likely that he received his initial musical education from Thomas Tallis.
Byrd’s musical career unfolded during a period of significant religious and upheaval. He was a devout Catholic at a time when this was a dangerous thing in a predominantly Protestant society. Despite this, he managed to maintain favour at the royal court, even dedicating his collaboration with Tallis on a set of Latin motets to Queen Elizabeth I.
The music we are singing come from his sacred works, but Byrd was also a prolific composer of secular music, including keyboard music, madrigals, consort songs, and various other instrumental compositions. Throughout his life, Byrd’s music reflected the tensions and diversity of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. Despite the challenges posed by his Catholic faith in a Protestant state, Byrd's music was widely appreciated and has left a lasting impact on the history of Western classical music. His compositions continue to be celebrated for their innovation, emotional depth, and intricate polyphony.
As well as the music of Byrd, of course we will also be singing a selection of other Christmas music and our audiences will be invited to stand and join us for a number of festive Christmas carols.
After the concert, we will be serving mince pies and mulled wine and we look forward to spending some time with our friends and patrons to thank them for their unwavering support throughout the year.
We really hope you will join us for what promises to be a beautiful and uplifting afternoon of festive music. Tickets are available from Fiona as usual (07966 192097 or fionawells20@@hotmail.com), or you can contact us through the website.