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Penitence & Lamentation (2023)

Byrd Ensemble, directed by Markdavin Obenza


Release Date: November 3, 2023 (CD released by end of November 2023)

iTunes, Spotify

CD Booklet (PDF)



Markdavin Obenza, director


01 Nicolas Gombert - Lugebat David Absalon

02 William Byrd - Domine secundum actum meum

03 Thomas Tallis - In jejunio et fletu

04 Thomas Tallis - Absterge Domine

05 Thomas Crecquillon - Pater peccavi

06 Robert Ramsey - How are the mighty fallen

07 William Byrd - Emendemus in melius

08 William Byrd - Ye sacred muses

09 William Byrd - Ne irascaris Domine

10 Nico Muhly - Fallings 

11 Robert Carver - O bone Jesu




For our 20th Anniversary season, we are releasing a new recording of Renaissance motets on October 27, 2023. In honor of 400 years since the death of our namesake, William Byrd, the album will also include the world-premiere recording of Fallings by American composer Nico Muhly, commissioned by the Byrd Ensemble.


Muhly says, “Fallings takes small melodic fragments and large harmonic building-blocks from the second part of Ne irascaris Domine — Civitas Sancti Tui, and explores them through repetition and mutation: sometimes quite subtle and other times dramatic. I tried to imitate Byrd’s contrasting textures of imitative counterpoint and hymn-like chords. The ‘burning of fire’ uses traditional word-painting, and the end obsesses over Byrd’s chords on Sion deserta (Zion has become a wilderness) on the words ‘O Lord, thou art our father.’”


Teaser 1

Teaser 2

Teaser 3

Penitence & Lamentation (2023)


    "Although these are religious texts, you don't have to be a believer to appreciate the drama of these stories or to empathize with universal human experiences such as loss and guilt that the eleven pieces reflect."

    "It is a delicate, tender and dissonant work, performed by the modeled voices of the Byrd Ensemble."

    "The direction of Markdavin Obenza is excellent, guiding the exquisite and expressive singers of the Byrd Ensemble."


    Bosch, Josep. “Penitence & Lamentation." The Byrd Ensemble, Markdavin Obenza.” Sonograma Magazine.

    "To acknowledge the 400th anniversary of composer William Byrd’s death, the ensemble that takes its name from him has released a terrific new album that includes four of his works... This is a beautifully performed album."

    "The highlight of the album to me is the world premiere recording of Fallings by Nico Muhly."

    Byrd, Craig. “New In Music This Week: November 3rd."  Cultural Attaché.

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