Drew Collins submitted Web page content is available under the CPDL copyright license ; please see individual editions for their copyright terms. Ave verum corpus William Byrd Brian Russell submitted Ave verum corpus beim Evensong: Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria Virgine,  vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine cuius latus perforatum fluxit aqua et sanguine: Today no composition by Byrd is performed and recorded more often than this one, partly because it is such a gem, partly because it offers such rich opportunities for expressive singing, and partly because it is technically not hard for choirs to sing. It dates from the 14th century and has been attributed to Pope Innocent VI. James Gibb submitted Other recordings available for download. Original text and translations may be found at Ave verum corpus. Otherwise unaltered from Fraser as far as we know.
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Wicker Park Choral Singers is a Chicago-based all-volunteer choir dedicated to building community through choral music. Josquin, a Renaissance composer, uses polyphony to create a piece with multiple melodic lines running throughout in interlocking patterns. Franz Liszt, who epitomizes late 19th century romantic impulses, utilizes more dissonance and unstructured form to convey the pain described in the words above.
So what part does Byrd play in this historical narrative? To properly answer that, one must consider the culture in which Byrd lived. By , under the rule of King James I, Byrd felt comfortable enough to compose his most overtly Catholic book of songs, Gradualia.
This new breed of composer took the purely polyphonic phrasing that composers such as Josquin or Palestrina had created, and incorporated some chordal elements to help convey feelings of sadness or passion. Similarly to earlier sacred works, the text is paramount to all phrasing, and is easy to understand.
Instead of using a 4 part polyphonic form throughout, Byrd mixes the style with each phrase. This allows the listener to hear and process the text while still responding emotionally to the music.
Byrd's the Word - the history behind Ave Verum Corpus
Ave verum corpus (Byrd, William)
William Byrd (compositeur)