- William Byrd - The Father of British Music [Recommended Recordings]
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William Byrd
Recommended Recordings

Goe Nightly Cares
(Paul Nicholson, Michael Chance; Fretwork)

The Byrd Edition Vol 4
(The Cardinall's Musick; Andrew Carwood, conductor)

The Complete Keyboard Music
(Davitt Moroney)
Today, English composer William Byrd (1540-1623) is mostly remembered for his vocal works, but his keyboard output--a vast array of pavans, galliards, plainsong interpretations, preludes, and popular-song arrangements--is just as noteworthy. Indeed, as Byrd sought to find his voice in writing music for the (relatively) new instrumental genre, he employed experimentation, creativity, and virtuosity that still sound fresh today. This ambitious set features virtually all Byrd's keyboard music, performed by Davitt Maroney on a handful of replica instruments. Spread over seven CDs (and with a solid 100 pages of liner notes dissecting the works), it's an impressive set for keyboard buffs and people curious about what music in Elizabethan England sounded like. Throughout, Maroney plays these challenging pieces impeccably, whether on harpsichord, church organ, clavichord, or muselar virginal (a type of plucked keyboard instrument). Sometimes musical labors of love don't translate to good listening, but in the case of William Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music, we should all be thankful for Maroney's efforts. (review by Jason Verlinde)

The Consort Music
(Richard Boothby, Richard Campbell, et al; Fretwork)


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