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Memento homo, II

March 18, 2011

William Byrd needs no introduction here. His piece, Memento homo, with its text for Ash Wednesday, is one of the most impassioned, expressive, and sublime works to emerge from what has been called the “Glorious Renaissance” of English church music of the Tudor period.

In the video below, Alamire gives an unspeakably stunning performance. Here, the piece is left incomplete, but a full rendition may be found on Alamire’s 2011 album: Thomas Tallis & William Byrd: Cantiones Sacrae 1575, now on sale.

Memento homo, quod cines es,
et cinerem reventeris.

Remember, O man, that dust thou art,
and to dust thou shalt return.

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