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. 19 Jun. 2013. <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 19 Jun. 2013, 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 19 Jun. 2013, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-016012.xml