William Byrd – Circumdederunt me ATTBarB
per 10 copies
6 pages. Also available for SAATB.
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This motet was first published in 1591 and, like so many other pieces in that collection, is penitential in nature. Parallels between the biblical texts set by Byrd and the harsh treatment of Roman Catholics in 16th century England are often drawn: Here, the final O Domine, libera anima mea – with the Superius and Contratenors entering at the top of their range – is particularly heartfelt and it can easily be read as a personal plea for religious freedom from the composer on behalf of his fellow English Catholics.
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