Music from Chirk Castle Part-Books

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Music from Chirk Castle Part-Books
The Brabant Ensemble / Stephen Rice

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Sunday 10 May 2009

This item is currently out of stock. We expect to be able to supply it to you within 2 - 4 weeks from when you place your order.

'The new works are undoubtedly significant additions to the repertoire. On that count alone this recording is self-recommending. An even greater name among the new additions is that of Tallis … the predominant sonority is familiarly clear, transparent and assured … for the sake of the new pieces alone, lovers of this repertory will welcome this enthusiastically' (Gramophone)

This disc presents a selection of works from the Chirk Castle part-books, a fascinating collection of devotional music from the Tudor period that remained hidden in the castle library for three hundred years.

The Chirk manuscripts contain works for unaccompanied voices as well as verse anthems and services, scored for solo voices, chorus and organ. This recording focuses on the unaccompanied items, presenting for the first time a selection of the 'full' services and anthems found in the manuscripts, including seven unique to the Chirk collection.

Among the 'new finds', the most significant are the Te Deum and Benedictus 'for trebles' by William Mundy. The two settings are designed on a large scale, exploiting the use of high trebles, and Mundy cleverly employs choral groupings of various types to provide maximum contrast. The textures throughout are reminiscent of Sheppard's best Latin compositions and by intensifying the contrapuntal activity in the closing sections of both canticles, Mundy takes the music to an even higher level. This is the first recording of these important canticles.


1 Te Deum 'for trebles' 'We praise thee, O God' [8'03] William Mundy (c1529-1591)
2 Benedictus 'for trebles' 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel' [7'50] William Mundy (c1529-1591)
3 O God give ear and do apply [3'27] William Byrd (1539/40-1623)
4 Deliver me from mine enemies [2'49] Robert Parsons (c1530-1570)
5 Christ rising again [4'59] Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585)
6 Behold it is Christ [2'42] Edmund Hooper (c1553-1621)
7 Blessed are all they that fear the Lord [2'13] Christopher Tye (c1505-before 15 March 1573)
8 Burial Service 'I am the resurrection and the life saith the Lord' [8'02] Robert Parsons (c1530-1570)
9 O Lord, thou hast dealt graciously [6'47] William Deane (?1575-c1638)
10 With all our hearts and mouths [2'37] Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585)
11 Yield unto God the mighty Lord [2'42] Thomas Caustun (c1522-1569)
12 Not every one that saith unto me [0'52] Thomas Tallis (c1505-1585)
13 Submit yourselves one to another [2'41] John Sheppard (c1515-1558)
14 The Litany 'for trebles' 'O God the Father of heav'n' [8'05] William Parsons (fl1545-1563)
15 O God be merciful unto us, and bless us [5'27] John Sheppard (c1515-1558)
16 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [1'37] William Deane (?1575-c1638)