Gaudeamus Performing William Byrd’s ‘Ne irascaris Domine’, 2015
Excerpt from a concert performed by local choir Gaudeamus at St Clement’s Church, Leigh-on-Sea, on 24 October 2015. The piece is a motet by William Byrd, ‘Ne irascaris Domine’, or ‘Be not angry, Lord’.
The image shows the bass part of the motet, from a manuscript found in the Petre family archive now held at the Essex Record Office (D/DP Z6/1). Lord Petre was a patron of William Byrd, who often visited Ingatestone Hall and settled in Stondon Massey in 1595.
This piece was first published in 1589. This version follows a modern edition for mixed choir, which has been transposed up a second. Although the music is slightly different, it allows us to imagine what a Tudor audience would have heard when attending church services. Parts of St Clement’s Church date back to the medieval period. How much have its acoustics changed over the centuries? Is this recording actually representative of how the motet sounded when performed in Byrd’s lifetime?
Read more about this piece of music in an Essex Record Office blog post here.