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Friday 16 June 2023 at 7.30pm by candlelight

Ye Sacred Muses

Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, YORK

Tickets: £16 / £10 (under 25s, students) available here

Ex Corde Vocal Ensemble and Chelys Consort of Viols present a candlelit sequence of music and readings, in the beautiful atmospheric Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate.

The 1580s was a turbulent decade for England, with the threat of Catholic insurrection or invasion. Catholics, particularly those prominent in society came under suspicion - Catholics such as William Byrd, musician for Queen Elizabeth I. Byrd's friend and teacher, Tallis, died in 1585; Mary, Queen of Scots, hope for the Catholic cause, died in 1587. We hear, through Ye Sacred Muses, Byrd's sense of loss for Tallis; through the 4-part mass, Byrd's strong Catholic faith, and through pieces from Songs of Sundrie Natures (published in 1589) his return to favour at court.


This sequence also draws together Byrd, Shakespeare, and the late-16th-century poet and feminist Emilia Lanier, who was possibly the author of some of Byrd's texts and Shakespeare's Dark Lady of the sonnets. The programme also includes the world premiere performance of Five Humble Verses by Christopher Fox, a setting of verses from Emilia's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611), the first book of English poetry by a woman to be published.


There is no interval in the programme.

Access: there is a ramp into the church but access to some of the chapels and pews is restricted owing to change of level and steps. Please note there are no toilet facilities in the church.

This concert is the first of two concerts in #ByrdSongFest.

On Saturday 17 June, our associate choir, The Ebor Singers, will be singing Byrd Song: Choral Masterpieces, at St Lawrence's Church, Lawrence St.   Joint tickets for both concerts are available with a 15% reduction.

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