Byrd - Cantiones Sacrae 1589
Recorded in New College Chapel, Oxford, 9-11 July 1983
These nine motets from Byrd's Cantiones Sacrae of 1589 comprise about half of the music in publication. The Cantiones of 1589 are all for five voices and were issued in four partbooks, a separate book for each voice-part. The works do not follow any liturgical scheme; the words are freely chosen from a variety of sources. Only a few texts express praise and rejoicing; the majority are of a more sombre cast, speaking of sorrow and trouble and pleading for divine help.