Civitas Sancti Tui – William Byrd

William Byrd (~1540-1623)

Our first piece to explore is Civitas Sancti Tui by William Byrd of England. As you’ll read in your listening guide, he was an English composer who was caught in the crossfire of the English Reformation and produced a body of work full of devotion which reflects his religious struggle. We will discuss this work on Tuesday, September 12th, during 2nd period with Mr. Beaumont.

Please come to our discussion having read the listening guide, listened to the piece twice (see below for links), and written a half-page reflection on the music. Your reflection should address your personal impressions of the piece and musical or textual moments that struck you. When referring to a particular part of the piece, please reference the time at which the moment occurs (e.g. 2:30-2:38). You might comment on the sound of the choir, the variety of texture, sound of the Latin, overall feeling of the piece, what the music reminds you of, how you hear the text relating to the music, or other personal impressions.

You should listen to the piece twice, reading the English translation before each listen. First listen through this video, then through this video where you will follow along in the score as well.

Should you desire to learn more about William Byrd’s life you can visit here, here, or here. He also has a vast collection of compositions which have been recorded by artists such as The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, Alamire, and Stile Antico, worth listening through.

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