This is Volume 12 of The Cardinall's Musick's complete Byrd Edition and it maintains the superlative quality of all the previous discs. The disc consists of three sets of mass propers devoted to Mary plus Marian hymns and motets, all taken from the Gradualia of 1605.
This music celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary shows again why Byrd is considered one of England's very greatest composers. It is varied, imaginative, perfectly appropriate to every text and, above all, supremely beautiful. Every one of the nineteen pieces here has something interesting and individual to offer, and the overall effect of the disc is of a pure, limpid loveliness.
The performances are, as always from The Cardinall's Musick, simply fabulous. Technically perfect, the group show a marvellous empathy for and understanding of Byrd's music, and the combination of this and the excellent recording in a resonant acoustic which complements but never blurs the sound produces something really special.
Every disc in this outstanding series has been an absolute gem, and this stands with the best of them. Very highly recommended.