Mark Williams of Jesus College in Cambridge, England will return to Portland to conduct Cantores in Ecclesia in a two-week festival of choral masterpieces that celebrates the music of one of the great composers of the English Renaissance, William Byrd (1540–1623).
Byrd embraced Catholicism despite pressure from English and Anglican church authorities. Scholars say Byrd's faith strongly influenced his work.
The festival will feature six liturgical services, three concerts and six public lectures. The services include Byrd's Masses for Three, Four, and Five Voices, Compline, Evensong from the Anglican rite and Mass for the Assumption.
The opening concert, “Liturgy and Lamentation,” on August 9 will feature some of the last published works of William Byrd. The concluding festival concert on Aug. 25, directed by Williams, will be offered in memory of Richard Marlow frequent Byrd Festival conductor, who died in Cambridge June 16. The final concert, ‘Justorum animae,’ will celebrate some of Byrd’s best-loved works, all of which have been featured in previous festival concerts conducted by Marlow, who, organizers say, "shed new light on familiar pieces, both exuberant and contemplative."
Marking its 30th anniversary, Cantores in Ecclesia ("singers in church") specializes in Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony in the liturgical context of the Latin Mass of the Catholic Church. Cantores in Ecclesia has sung in concert and for liturgies at home and abroad, including tours to Mexico, Spain, France, England and Italy, and has recorded independently and for Oregon Catholic Press, publisher of this newspaper.
Now in residence at St. Stephen Church — 1112 SE 41st Ave. in Portland — Cantores sings for the Latin mass every Saturday evening.
Festival locations are St. Stephen Catholic Church, SE 41st Avenue and Salmon Street; Holy Rosary Catholic Church, NE 3rd Avenue and Clackamas Street; and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, NW 19th Avenue and Everett Street.
Tickets for the concerts on Aug. 9 and 25 are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com, by phone 1-800-838-3006, or at the door. The remaining events have no admission fee with a free will offering.
Here us the full schedule for the Byrd Festival:
• Friday, August 9, 7:30 PM
OPENING CONCERT: ‘Liturgy & Lamentation’, choral works from Byrd’s Gradualia and Tears or Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soul, at St. Stephen’s Church.
• Saturday, August 10, 11:00 AM
OPENING LECTURE: ‘Byrd and William Leighton’s The Tears or Lamentations of a Sorrowful Soul’, given by Mr. David Trendell, King’s College, London, at St. Stephen’s Church, Free-will offering.
• Sunday, August 11, 8:00 PM
COMPLINE, featuring William Byrd’s music for the Divine Office, at St. Stephen’s Church, Free-will offering.
• Thursday, August 15, 7:30 PM
PONTIFICAL HIGH MASS FOR THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION, featuring Byrd’s 1605 Gradualia setting, at Holy Rosary Church, Free-will offering.
• Saturday, August 17, 11:00 AM *
SECONDLECTURE:‘WritingaboutByrd’, given by Dr. Kerry McCarthy, Duke University, at St. Stephen’s Church, Free-will offering.
• Saturday, August 17, 7:30 PM
SOLEMN PONTIFICAL MASS, featuring Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, at St. Stephen’s Church, Free-will offering.
• Sunday, August 18, 11:00 AM
SOLEMN PONTIFICAL MASS, featuring Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices, at Holy Rosary Church, Free-will offering.
• Sunday, August 18, 4:15 PM
ORGAN RECITAL: ‘According to the Scriptures’, music by Bach, Byrd, Howells, Reubke and Sweelinck, played by Mr. Mark Williams, Jesus College, Cambridge, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Free-will offering.
• Sunday, August 18, 5:00 PM
CHORAL EVENSONG, featuring the music of Byrd, Gibbons & Tallis, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Free-will offering.
• Saturday, August 24, 11:00 AM
THIRD LECTURE: ‘Byrd’s Votive Masses’, given by Dr. William Mahrt, Stanford University, at St. Stephen’s Church, Free-will offering.
• Saturday, August 24, 7:30 PM
SOLEMN PONTIFICAL MASS, featuring Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, at St. Stephen’s Church, Free-will offering.
• Sunday, August 25, 7:00 PM
PRE-CONCERTLECTURE,givenby Dr. William Mahrt, at St. Stephen’s Church.
• Sunday, August 25, 7:30 PM
FINAL CONCERT: ‘Justorum Animae’, music in memory of Dr. Richard Marlow, conducted by Mr. Mark Williams, at St. Stephen’s Church.