Tallis & Byrd: Masses for Uncertain Times
Photo by Joanne Bouknight
Program Notes

Tallis & Byrd: Masses for Uncertain Times

Tallis was ever the musical pragmatist, responding to the fickle fluctuations of liturgical necessity;...

Tallis & Byrd: Masses for Uncertain Times

New York Polyphony

Saturday, January 26, 2013, 8pm

Church of St. Mary the Virgin

This event has ended.

  New York Polyphony returns to Miller’s series with a performance of Tallis and Byrd’s uniquely intimate masses for four voices. Written during a time of religious turbulence in England, these settings of the traditional Latin mass text were intended for modest forces and favor a beautifully simple, straightforward style. Composed late in the 16th century, Byrd’s mass was an act of courage, written for secret use by fellow Catholics forced underground by the prevailing monarchy. The program is rounded out with a handful of brief sacred works from the 15th century to the present.


  • Thomas Tallis Mass for Four Voices
  • William Byrd Mass for Four Voices
  • John Plummer Missa Sine nominee New York premiere
  • Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012) A Colloquy with God New York premiere
  • Andrew Smith (b. 1970) Kyrie Cunctipotens genitor Deus New York premiere
  • Gabriel Jackson (b. 1962) Ite missa est New York premiere