This webcast of Sung Eucharist features Byrd's Mass for Four Voices, and Messiaen's O sacrum convivium.
Olivier Messiaen (1908 - 1992) was a French composer, organist, and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically he employs a system he called modes of limited transposition, which he abstracted from the systems of material generated by his early compositions and improvisations. The unaccompanied motet O sacrum convivium is an early work, revelling in a static chromaticism, which lends the work a fervently devotional quality. Though much of Messiaen’s music is overtly Christian in content, this is his only liturgical motet; the composer, with characteristic eccentricity, believed that plainsong was the perfect, and unsurpassable, music with which the liturgy should be adorned.