About

Gradualia is a vocal consort specialising in the music of the Renaissance period. The group was founded in October 2001, in order to explore the vocal repertoire of the 15th – early 17th Centuries.

The name is taken from William Byrd’s two volume cycle of Propers for use with the Mass throughout the Church year. These two books were published in the early years of the 17th Century during a time of serious religious unrest; there is even a record of someone being arrested for possession of a Gradualia part-book. In 1610, when the religious climate was more relaxed, both books were re-released.

Gradualia’s first concert took place in Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford, in February 2002, showcasing works by William Cornysh, Alonso Lobo, and Robert Whyte. This concert was followed by a series of concerts centred around performances of large-scale Renaissance Mass settings, such as Cipriano de Rore’s Missa Praeter rerum seriem, and Nicholas Gombert’s Missa Tempore Paschali in venues such as Keble College Chapel, Oxford, and Douai Abbey.

In July 2003, the choir gave successful concerts in Greystoke, Cumbria, and in York Minster.

Apart from music from William Byrd’s Gradualia the choir specialises in the works of Robert Whyte and Jean Lhéritier.

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