Byrd Mass for Four Voices
"THE SWAN, they say, when his death is near, sings more sweetly. However little I may beable to attain to the sweetness of that bird in these songs which I have judged should bededicated to you, most illustrious Henry, I have had two defences or incentives of nocommon rate for emulating that sweetness in some sort at least. The one was the sweetnessof the words themselves, the other for your worthiness."1 Thus, wrote the aged William Byrd in his dedication to Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton in the first book of theGradualia.
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