The Caged Byrd
CHANDOS / CHACONNE / 1997
The Caged Byrd is focussed on the works of Byrd's middle period, 1575-90, a time of the persecution of Catholics in England. Byrd was to some extent protected as a favourite of Queen Elizabeth but his music seems to reference the suffering of God's chosen people (by analogy with English Catholics), nowhere more so than in 'Why do I use my paper, inke and penne' (here recorded with verses not printed before) and the first recording of 'Deus, venerunt gentes', thought to be a heartfelt response to the martyrdom of Edmund Campion.
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“These moving pieces for an exiled people – the view the Elizabethan Roman Catholics took of themselves – make sense of Byrd in a way that collections by genre often fail to do.”
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE