Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|William [Composer] Byrd, Elizabeth Farr|
Byrd: My Ladye Nevells Booke
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
William Byrds Greatest Hits!
Jed | UK | 08/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shudder at the flippancy gentlefolk, but My Ladye Nevelles Booke is pretty much the Elizabethan equivalent of a greatest hits compilation of Byrds best harpsichord works.
Both thrilling and ethereal, Byrds harpsichord pieces are the very epitome of Elizabethean grace. And with 3 CDs worth of superbly recorded and performed works, this set is great value and the best introduction I can think of to Byrd's harpsichord music, or even just harpsichord or Elizabethean music in particular.
I've always thought that the phrase "we'll never see his likes again" be a horrible, silly cliche, but in the case of William Byrd, I think it's apt. A genius of a long past, unique era, we should be grateful for and savour the works he left for posterity.
Magnificent Byrd, superb instruments
James Mccarty | 12/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have only a little to add to what has been said already, but just to clarify, the Ruckers designations are not first names, but rather the present locations of the instruments. For example, what we harpsichordists casually refer to as the "Colmar Ruckers" is the 1624 Ioannes Ruckers instrument now in the Musée d'Unterlinden in Colmar in Alsace (France). The "Ahaus Ruckers" is a 1640 instrument, also by Ioannes, located in Schloss Ahaus, Westphalia. I had the privilege of playing the Colmar Ruckers in September, and I can promise you that Keith Hill has captured the sound of this magnificent instrument quite nicely. The other instruments on this superb recording are equally fine. There are many excellent recordings of both of the original Ruckers available as well, if you want to compare the sound of Hill's copies to them. Elizabeth Farr is going from strength to strength in recording several wonderful performances of the harpsichord literature on Naxos, and this is the best of them. Highly recommended!"
Almost 4 Hours of William Byrd's Harpsichord Music, Beautifu
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 08/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 3 CD set contains all of William Byrd's collection of harpsichord pieces called 'My Ladye Nevells Booke', which Byrd had had copied and bound and presented to 'Lady Nevell' whose precise identity was not known until recently. Research by John Harley speculates convincingly that 'Ladye Nevell' was Elizabeth Bacon, a wealthy woman who was the third wife of Sir Henry Nevell. There is further speculation that she was Byrd's pupil although there is no proof of this or any record of her musical abilities. Only six of the pieces contained herein were written especially for the 'Booke', the rest being copied from Byrd's prior works, and in this sense this collection is somewhat like Bach's Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook, containing mostly earlier pieces collected for the personal use of a specific person.
As far as I know the only previous recordings of this almost four hour collection of music are that contained in Davitt Moroney's groundbreaking traversal of all of Byrd'skeyboard music, and the one by Christopher Hogwood. The present set of performances by American harpsichordist Elizabeth Farr certainly can stand beside those pioneering efforts. Her performances are marked by a seriousness of purpose that matches the usually solemn music by Byrd. She is able, however, to lighten her approach in the battle pieces and the somewhat sprightlier galliards. Her efforts are aided immensely by the four instruments she uses, three of them made and one restored by eminent Michigan harpsichord builder Keith Hill. Indeed, the recordings were made in a hall near Hill's home in Manchester, Michigan. (Interestingly, the producer of this set is Wolfgang Rübsam, himself a distinguished organist. And the gorgeous booklet cover illustration is a photo of a painting Hill made on the soundboard of one of his harpsichords.) One of the instruments made by Hill is a lautenwerk, a combination of lute and harpsichord that has a rich and intimate sound having as it does a combination of brass and gut strings. The other instruments are a restoration of 1658 Roman instrument made by Jerome de Zentis, a double manual harpsichord made by Hill copying a 1624 instrument made by Colmar Ruckers, and double manual instrument copied from a 1640 harpsichord made by another of the famous Ruckers family, Ahaus Ruckers. These latter instruments each have a particularly big and rich sound with none of the clang or edge sometimes heard in harpsichord recordings.
This is an important entry in the Byrd keyboard discography. Strongly recommended.