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Essence of the Renaissance
The Renaissance period (1400-1600) saw an outpouring of some of the most beautiful choral works by composers across Europe. The lives of many of these composers were as complicated as their exquisite music: Palestrina – the Pope’s favourite, Guerrero – the soldier of fortune, Gesualdo – Prince of Venosa and murderer, Byrd – who against all odds kept his Catholic head fixed on his shoulders in Protestant England. Each composer worked in his own national style. Although styles varied markedly between countries, the common thread through the works on this program is a mastery of the art of composition and a passion for the most beautiful of all instruments, the human voice.

The Italian School
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–94): Stabat Mater, Sicut Cervus
Ludovico Grossi da Viadana (1560–1627): Exultate justi
Carlo Gesualdo(1566–1613): O vos Omnes
Luca Marenzio (1553–99): Tribus miraculis

The Spanish School
Francisco Guerrero (1528–99): Canite Tuba
Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611): O domine Jesu Christe
Cristóbal de Morales (1500–53): Peccantem me quotidie
Juan Esquivel (1560–1625): Ego sum panis vivus, Duo Seraphim

The English School
William Byrd (1539/40–1623): Kyrie, Sanctus/Benedictus, Agnus Dei from the Mass for Four Voices
Anon: Rejoice in the Lord alway
William Byrd: Ave verum corpus
John Amner (1579–1641): Lift up your Heads
Thomas Tomkins (1572–1656): When David heard that Absalom was slain
Christopher Tye (1505–72): Sing unto the Lord

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Download program notes here.




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