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Hiding In Plain Sight / The Honour of William Byrd

The Honour of William Byrd - with Helen Charlston (mezzo soprano)

The Honour of William Byrd explores many sides of the man and his music, encompassing the honouring of his contemporaries, the honouring of his Catholic faith under a Protestant regime, honouring the Protestant Queen Elizabeth despite his Catholicism, and honouring his country.

If musical output gives us an indication of the person within, then who is this man who is both devoutly Catholic yet clearly a favourite of the Protestant Queen who made his faith illegal, a serious character capable of weighty contemplation but also sharp wit and humour, and the loyal friend who wrote so personally and touchingly of the loss of his teacher and friend Thomas Tallis? This programme explores the proud Englishman, devoted friend, loyal subject, and faithful servant who was William Byrd.

Hiding In Plain Sight - The music of Leonora Duarte and Thomas Lupo

During the Spanish Inquisition of 1492, many Jews moved to new countries and sought to live in safety there. The Duarte family moved to Antwerp, where Leonora was born several generations later into a family who had become successful and respected merchants with a keen interest in, and patronage of, the visual arts and of music. Although they were officially converso (Jews who had converted to Catholicism in order to settle in their new country) it seems they held to their Jewish faith and practises, not as secretly as one might expect.

The Lupo family moved first to Italy, but later were recruited to Henry VIII’s court as he sought to expand his musical prowess. For over 100 years the Lupo family composed and played at the royal court in a country where it was illegal for a Jew to live.

This programme explores the music of two composers living and working prominently in countries where their faith was illegal - both hiding, but in plain sight.
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