"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Friday, January 17, 2003 William Byrd: The Three Masses
A Baltimore Sunreviewer gives four stars to a new CD by the Pro Arte Singers of Indiana University, directed by Paul Hillier (third item):
At considerable risk, William Byrd composed and had printed three settings of the Latin Mass in the early 1600s, when Catholicism was proscribed in England. Throughout his life, he remained true to his faith, which, as his music makes plain, meant everything to him.
The three Masses, in particular, reflect that intensity; they are remarkably expressive, without ever turning florid. Byrd's style is a model of melodic directness and exquisitely molded harmonies. The Credo of his Mass for Five Voices is a case in point; this profession of faith could hardly be clearer or more emphatic, yet there is no sense of overemphasis or straining for effect. Everything is in balance, everything innately beautiful. It's the same throughout each section of these three important works.