Internationale A-cappella-Woche Hannover
Gallicantus | Gabriel Crouch, director
Programme | The Word Unspoken
With the gruesome punishments occasionally meted out on recusant Catholics during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, it is unsurprising that evidence for the religious preferences of her greatest composers can be vague or contradictory. Even the most famous ‘Catholic’ figure in English music, William Byrd, never did anything so brazen as to publicly declare his faith. The situation is further complicated firstly by the fact that many of these composers also wrote under Elizabeth’s predecessors, including her Catholic half-sister Mary; and secondly by the fact that employees of the Chapel Royal (as Byrd, Tallis and Sheppard were all privileged to be) were permitted to produce Latin motets even when a Protestant monarch sat on the throne.