The Mass in Four Parts, the earliest of the settings, was composed almost immediately after Byrd’s second volume of protest-motets was issued, and retains something of their tortured mood. The mode—transposed Dorian, but with a specified E-flat that “Aeolianizes” it into something more nearly resembling plain G minor—contributes to the mood, of course; but more potent by far is the astonishing degree of dissonance, which grates most where it is least expected, in the Agnus Dei, a text outwardly concerned with gentleness, deliverance from sin, and peace.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 16 The End of Perfection." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 3 May. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-016012.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 16 The End of Perfection. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 3 May. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-016012.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 16 The End of Perfection." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 3 May. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-016012.xml