Although not entitled '1611 and all that', the William Byrd Anniversary Concert at St Peter and St Paul Church explored within the wide-ranging tribute three associations with the year 1611. Tomas Luis de Victoria, who died in 1611, was represented in the first half by the 'Missa Vidi Speciosam'. In the second, the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version of the Bible was celebrated in Michael Aves' 'A Vision of the Word' which drew from the book of Revelation centered on the text in Chapter 1: "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of prophesy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand". Byrd's own music was represented by the songs 'This Sweet and Merry Month' and 'Though Amaryllis dance in green', the former re-published in a collection of 1611; 'Sing Joyfully', the anthem which started the concert; and, three versions of 'Ave Maria' as representative of his sacred Latin output. At the back of the church the sound was most wonderful and our church representative at the end bid them thanks for the concert and their support of the recent William Byrd Festival, adding "same place, same time, next year". Hear, hear!
Welcome to our Festival blog
We are a small congregation who organised a highly successful 'William Byrd Festival' in May 2011 to celebrate the life and work of the village's Elizabethan composer, William Byrd (c.1540 - 1623). In 2012 we played host to the world-famous choir The Cardinall's Musick under their director Andrew Carwood.
This website contains everything you need to know about William Byrd and his links with Stondon Massey. The church is open for services, of course, and on the second Sunday afternoon in the month during the summer.