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York Choral Workshop 2011

William Byrd:
Mass for Four Voices and
Richard Dering:
Motets for Five Voices (1617)
This workshop for singers (SATB) explored Latin music by William Byrd (c.1540-1623) and Richard Dering (c.1580-1630). Byrd was Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in the reigns of both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I; however, extraordinarily, Byrd - although a loyal servant to the monarch - remained a Roman Catholic in a Protestant land. This explains Byrd's Latin Masses which were composed for recusant Roman Catholic use. The workshop concentrated on Byrd's 4-part Mass (and included some singing from facsimiles of the original printed partbooks) but there was also the opportunity to sing some newly edited Latin motets by Byrd's Roman Catholic contemporary Richard Dering. Dering, who spent some years working in Brussels before returning to England in 1625 as Queen Henrietta Maria's organist, was one of the first English composers to be influenced by early seventeenth-century Italian music. While he was in the Low Countries, Dering published two sets of motets: this workshop explored motets from the Cantiones Sacrae Quinque Vocum (1617) which are soon to be published in a modern edition for the first time in the series Musica Britannica.

The afternoon concluded with an informal performance at 4:00pm to which all were invited, free of charge.
Fees for the day were £15 (£10 students and young people), including hire of music and light refreshments