This Week's Free Download
Download a free track by William Byrd
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Tudor England’s turbulent religious landscape gave rise to some of the greatest polyphony ever written and a sample can be heard on the recording which provides this week’s free download: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang on Linn records.
The track on offer this week is Byrd’s Quomodo cantabimus, a piece which uses the text of Psalm 136: ‘How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?’ Vocal ensemble Magnificat is conducted by Philip Cave.
Berta Joncus, writing in a recent issue BBC Music Magazine, gave the disc four stars and said: ‘Tolerated even while officially banned, Latin settings in England signaled loyalty to traditions that the new generation represented on this disc had to re-invent. Sonic splendor abounds in the Magnificat choir’s performance of this repertory. Byrd's Quomodo cantabimus unfurls majestically, ravishing the ear.'