William Byrd’s Great Service


The Church of the Ascension
36–38 Fifth Avenue (at West 10th Street) New York
United States
Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields, under the direction of David Shuler, presents William Byrd’s Great Service on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 8 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension, 36–38 Fifth Avenue (at West 10th Street).  There will be a lecture by Dr. Lynette Bowring at 7 p.m.                          

William Byrd’s William Byrd’s monumental Great Service is often described as the “crown jewel” of Anglican sacred music. It is one of his most magnificent creations, awesome in scale and hugely demanding, with intricate and complex ten-part polyphony and inexhaustible variety. The Great Service consists of the canticles that were sung during the services of Matins and Evensong, as found in the Thomas Cranmer’s newly created 1449 Book of Common Prayer, along with the Creed for Holy Communion. The program will also include psalms, anthems and organ works by Byrd.

The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields is the resident vocal ensemble at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City's historic Greenwich Village. Under the direction of David Shuler since 1988, the Choir regularly performs masses and motets dating from the fifteenth century to the present as part of the church's liturgy. They are known for their historically informed performances of Early Music. The Choir presented the North American premieres of Georg Phillip Telemann's St. Matthew Passion (1746) in 2003 and St. Luke Passion (1748) in 2013. In 2011, the ensemble gave the first New York City performance of C.P.E. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (1769). The 2015 season featured a rare performance of Handel’s Esther – his first English oratorio. Their most recent recording, Music of Pierre de Manchicourt: Missa Reges Terrae and other works, was released to critical acclaim on the MSR label in September 2016.   In November 2018, they released a recording of Palestrina’s Missa Tu es Petrus and motets, also on the MSR label.

Because of construction at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, this concert will be performed at the Church of the Ascension, located at Fifth Avenue and West 10th Street. Tickets are $35, and $25 for students and senior citizens.  Tickets will be available at the door or in advance at bit.ly/stlukeconcertix.  For further information, ticket sales or reservations, please call 212-414-7440 or write to music@stlukeinthefields.org

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural

Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts

with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



The Choir of Saint Luke in the Fields, directed by David Shuler

Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 8 p.m. (lecture at 7 p.m.)
William Byrd – The Great Service

Tickets: $35 ($25 for students, seniors)

Information and reservations, (212) 414-7440, music@stlukeinthefields.org

Tickets: bit.ly/stlukeconcertix