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William Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music Box set, Import

5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Import, October 12, 1999
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Product Description

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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
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Release Date: 1-JAN-1999

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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. --Jason Verlinde

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rowland (or 'Lord Willoughby's Welcome home'), variations for keyboard, MB 7
  2. The Bells, ground for keyboard, MB 38
  3. French Corantos (3), for keyboard, MB 21: No. 1
  4. French Corantos (3), for keyboard, MB 21: No. 2
  5. French Corantos (3), for keyboard, MB 21: No. 3
  6. Hugh Aston's Ground, for keyboard, MB 20
  7. Callino Casturame, variations for keyboard, MB 35
  8. Fantasia, for keyboard in C major, MB 26
  9. The Carman's Whistle, air & variations for keyboard, MB 36
  10. Sellinger's Round, variations for keyboard, MB 84
  11. In nomine (Parsons), for keyboard, MB 51 (by Parsons, arr. by Byrd)
  12. Ground ('The seconde grownde'), for keyboard in C major, MB 42
  13. Hornpipe, for keyboard, MB 39
  14. Miserere (I), for keyboard, MB 66
  15. Miserere (II), for keyboard, MB 67

Disc: 2

  1. Pavan & Galliard ('Delight' or 'Johnson's'), for keyboard, MB 5, (by Johnson, arr. by Byrd): Pavin
  2. Pavan & Galliard ('Delight' or 'Johnson's'), for keyboard, MB 5, (by Johnson, arr. by Byrd): Galliard
  3. Prelude for keyboard in C major, MB 24
  4. Galliard ('Mistress Mary Brownlow'), for keyboard in C major, No. 4, MB 34
  5. Praeludium for keyboard, MB 115
  6. Pavan & Galliard ('Ph. Tregian'), for keyboard in F major, No. 2, MB 60: Pavan
  7. Pavan & Galliard ('Ph. Tregian'), for keyboard in F major, No. 2, MB 60: Galliard
  8. Alman, for keyboard in G major, MB 11
  9. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C major No. 3, MB 33: Pavin
  10. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C major No. 3, MB 33: Galliard
  11. Walsingham, variations for keyboard, MB 8
  12. Pavan & Galliard ('Lachrymae'), for keyboard (pavan by Dowland, Galliard by Harding; arr. by Byrd), MB 54-55: Pavana Lachrymae
  13. Pavan & Galliard ('Lachrymae'), for keyboard (pavan by Dowland, Galliard by Harding; arr. by Byrd), MB 54-55: Harding's Galliard
  14. The Barley Break, for keyboard, MB 92
  15. Pavane & 2 Galliards ('The Earle of Salisbury'), for keyboard in A minor, No. 2 , MB 15: Pavana
  16. Pavane & 2 Galliards ('The Earle of Salisbury'), for keyboard in A minor, No. 2 , MB 15: Galiardo (1)
  17. Pavane & 2 Galliards ('The Earle of Salisbury'), for keyboard in A minor, No. 2 , MB 15: Galiardo (2)
  18. Pavan ('Echo') & Galliard, for keyboard in G major No. 5, MB 114 (doubtful): Paven
  19. Pavan ('Echo') & Galliard, for keyboard in G major No. 5, MB 114 (doubtful): Galliard
  20. Wolsey's Wild (Wilson's Wild), variations for keyboard, MB 37
  21. Jig, for keyboard in A minor, MB 22
  22. Praeludium for keyboard, MB 116
  23. John come kiss me now, variations for keyboard, MB 81

Disc: 3

  1. Christe qui lux a 4, for instrumental consort No. 1
  2. Prelude for keyboard in A minor, MB 12
  3. Fantasia, for keyboard in C major, No. 3, MB 27
  4. Ut re mi fa sol la, for keyboard in G major, MB 64
  5. Ut mi re, for keyboard, MB 65
  6. Gloria tibi Trinitas, for keyboard, MB 50
  7. Miserere (I), for keyboard, MB 66
  8. Miserere (II), for keyboard, MB 67
  9. Fantasia (Verse), for keyboard in C major, No. 4, MB 28
  10. Ground (Short), for keyboard in C major, MB 43
  11. Fantasy, for keyboard in D minor, MB 46
  12. Fantasia, for keyboard in C major, No. 2, MB 25 'A Fancie'
  13. Ground (Short), for keyboard in G major, MB 9
  14. Clarifica Me Pater (I), for keyboard, MB 47
  15. Clarifica Me Pater (II), for keyboard, MB 48
  16. Clarifica Me Pater (III), for keyboard, MB 49
  17. Fantasia, for keyboard in G major, MB 62
  18. Salvator mundi, for keyboard, MB 68
  19. Salvator mundi, for keyboard, MB 69
  20. Fantasia (Voluntary for my Lady Neville), for keyboard in G major, MB 61

Disc: 4

  1. The woods so wild, variations for keyboard, MB 85
  2. Ut re mi fa sol la, for keyboard in F major, MB 58
  3. Go from my window, variations for keyboard, MB 79
  4. Fantasia, for keyboard in G major, MB 62
  5. Fortune, variations for keyboard, MB 6
  6. Fantasia, for keyboard in G major, MB 63
  7. Corranto, for keyboard in C major, MB 45
  8. The Maiden's Song, variations for keyboard, MB 82
  9. Ground (Short), for keyboard in G minor, MB 86
  10. Fantasy, for keyboard in D minor, MB 46
  11. O quam gloriosum est regnum, for keyboard
  12. The Hunt's Up, or Pescodd's Time, MB 40

Disc: 5

  1. O mistress mine, for keyboard, MB 83
  2. Lavolta, for keyboard No. 2 in G minor, MB 91
  3. Pavan ('Quadran') & Galliard, for keyboard in G No. 1, MB 70: Paven
  4. Pavan ('Quadran') & Galliard, for keyboard in G No. 1, MB 70: Galliard
  5. Ground (Short), for keyboard in G major, MB 9
  6. If that a sinner's sighs, for keyboard
  7. Alman (The Queen's Alman), for keyboard, MB 10
  8. Pavan & Galliard, for keyboard in B flat major, MB 23: Pavion
  9. Pavan & Galliard, for keyboard in B flat major, MB 23: Galliard
  10. Pavan & Galliard ('Bray'), for keyboard in F major No. 1, MB 59: Pavana
  11. Pavan & Galliard ('Bray'), for keyboard in F major No. 1, MB 59: Galiarda
  12. Lavolta (Lady Morley), for keyboard No. 1 in G minor, MB 90
  13. Pavan & Galliard, for keyboard, Nos. 4a/4b, MB 4: Pavana
  14. Pavan & Galliard, for keyboard, Nos. 4a/4b, MB 4: Galiarda
  15. Gypsies' round, variations for keyboard, MB 80
  16. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in D minor No. 1, MB 52: Pavana
  17. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in D minor No. 1, MB 52: Galliarda
  18. Galliard, for keyboard in D minor No. 2, MB 53
  19. Alman, for keyboard in G minor, MB 89
  20. Pavan, for keyboard in G major No. 8, MB 76
  21. Gaillard, for keyboard in G major, No. 9, MB 77
  22. Alman, for keyboard, MB 117
  23. Galliard Jig, for keyboard, MB 18
  24. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in G major No. 4, MB 73: Paven
  25. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in G major No. 4, MB 73: Galiard

Disc: 6

  1. Qui Passe (Chi passa) for my Lady Nevell, for keyboard, MB 19
  2. Fantasia, for keyboard in C major, No. 2, MB 25 'A Fancie'
  3. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C minor No. 1, MB 29: Pavian
  4. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C minor No. 1, MB 29: Galliard
  5. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in G major No. 2, MB 71: Pavian
  6. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in G major No. 2, MB 71: Galliard
  7. Pavan & Galliard, for keyboard in A minor, No. 1, MB 14: Pavian
  8. Pavan & Galliard, for keyboard in A minor, No. 1, MB 14: Galliard
  9. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C major No. 1, MB 30: Pavian
  10. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C major No. 1, MB 30: Galliard
  11. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C minor No. 2, MB 31: Pavian
  12. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in C minor No. 2, MB 31: Galliard
  13. Pavan & Galliard ('Kinbourough Good'), for keyboard in C major, No. 2, MB 32: Pavan
  14. Pavan & Galliard ('Kinbourough Good'), for keyboard in C major, No. 2, MB 32: Galliard
  15. Pavan ('Canon 2 in 1'), for keyboard in G major No. 6, MB 74
  16. Pavan, for keyboard in A minor No. 4, MB 17
  17. Pavan & Galliard ('Passamezzo'), for keyboard in G minor No. 1, MB 2: Pavian
  18. Pavan & Galliard ('Passamezzo'), for keyboard in G minor No. 1, MB 2: Galliard
  19. My Lady Nevell's Ground, for keyboard, MB 57
  20. Fantasia (Voluntary for my Lady Neville), for keyboard in G major, MB 61

Disc: 7

  1. Prelude for keyboard in G minor, MB 1
  2. Pavan & Galliard ('Sir William Petre'), for keyboard in G minor No. 2, MB 3: Pavana
  3. Pavan & Galliard ('Sir William Petre'), for keyboard in G minor No. 2, MB 3: Galliard
  4. The March before the Battle, or, The Earl of Oxford's March, for keyboard, MB 93
  5. The Battle, for keyboard, MB 94
  6. Gaillard for the Victory, for keyboard, MB 95
  7. All in a garden green, variations for keyboard, MB 56
  8. Alman (Monsieur's Alman), for keyboard in G major, No. 1, MB 87
  9. Alman (Monsieur's Alman), for keyboard in G major, No. 2, MB 88
  10. Alman (The Ghost), for keyboard, MB 78
  11. Alman (Monsieur's Alman), for keyboard in C major, MB 44
  12. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in A minor No. 3, MB 16: Pavyn
  13. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in A minor No. 3, MB 16: Galliard
  14. Pavan and galliard a 6, for instrumental consort in C major: Paven
  15. Pavan and galliard a 6, for instrumental consort in C major: Galliard
  16. Pavan ('Lady Monteagle's Pavan'), for keyboard in G major No. 7, MB 75
  17. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in G major No. 3, MB 72: Pavion
  18. Pavan & Gaillard, for keyboard in G major No. 3, MB 72: Galliard
  19. Prelude for keyboard in A minor, MB 12
  20. Prelude for keyboard in A minor, MB 12
  21. Prelude for keyboard in A minor, MB 12
  22. Prelude for keyboard in A minor, MB 12
  23. Fantasia, for keyboard in A minor, MB 13


Product Details

  • Performer: Davitt Moroney
  • Composer: William Byrd
  • Audio CD (October 12, 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B00002EIUD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
If you're even _looking_ at this set of music, then chances are that you are already enamoured of either it (under the guise of a different performer) or similar early keyboard music. So . . . um . . . what are you waiting for?!? If such a thing as "definitive" Byrd exists on recording --- _this_ is definitive! The instruments (two organs, two harpsichords, a muselar virginal, and a clavichord) are breathtaking --- especially the muselar in "The Battell!" (Yes, the poor thing's a little clackety, but --- holy cow!! You'll hear what I mean.) And Moroney's technique does complete and utter justice to the music. I remember futzing my way through _The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book_ and _My Ladye Nevell's Book_ like a clod; Moroney, in contrast, makes the notes spring off of the pages and into life, with generous (but not overbearing) ornamentation and sprightly tempi (never too fast, never too slow, but always "just right" - I can't say such a thing very often). I don't know if Byrd sounded like he does here, but I can't imagine this music sounding any better. I'm done raving now. ;-)
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This is as close to a "definitive" recording of these works as it can be, IMHO. Davitt Moroney, currently a professor of musicology at UC Berkeley, chooses to perform these works alternatively on harpsichords, muselar, (chamber) organ and clavichord. Anyone who is familiar with his recordings knows what to expect: flawless technique, solid structure, proper style and tuning, no overt flashiness. The thought and research Moroney puts into arranging the order of the music and into choice of instruments ensure both the right sequences of presentation(*) and varieties of sound to the ears. However, the most remarkable aspect of this recording, to me, is the love Moroney bestows upon William Byrd's keyboard music. It is palpable in every measure!

This collection includes a 200-page booklet written by Moroney himself, 104 pages in English (with French translation.) The booklet is informative; in fact, an indispensable part of the enjoyment, itself alone worth half the price. So don't download. Get the box!

I bought the previous release Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music a few years ago at full price and thought it was worth every penny. Now it's re-released at much lower price with third party sellers selling for less than $40. If there is a better bargain in this new millennium, I am oblivious of it. Furthermore, recorded sound is very good, per usual Hyperion (early music) high standard. So what more can one ask for!

This is a collection any lover of William Byrd's music should not be without.(**)

My highest recommendation!

P.S.
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By A Customer on February 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is really wonderful music. I'm not that much a fan of Elizabethan music, and I bought the set on the strength of a couple of glowing reviews and my appreciation of other Moroney recordings. However, the whole package here (performance, instruments, booklet, and the music itself) combine to make this an amazing aesthetic experience. You may not think you need this. You do.
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This wonderful set contains all Byrd's keyboard work, from organ to harpsichord. The playing style of Moroney is greatly correct and neatly fresh. His interpretation of these almost neglected music is wonderful. The touch and the tone of his performance, as well as the ornament, is natural and elegant. This is a must for those who love old keyboard music. The record is excellent too.
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I've been a fan of William Byrd's choral music (and have performed a few pieces, such as the Mass for Five Voices), but this is the first time I've really gotten deep into his keyboard music. I was not disappointed.
Some period keyboard recordings sound relentless--I have to admit that I cannot endure more than about 45 minutes of harpsichord music at a sitting, because it just lacks too much color and variation. Moroney has dealt with that by using a collection of period instruments and varying the mix. But (unlike Glenn Gould) he does not add in the piano. (I think the piano has a superior sound, simply because its dynamic range is wider, but it's wrong for Byrd's period. Moroney has answered that pretty well without cheating.)
If you are a polyphonic, contrapuntal music maniac the way I am, you will really enjoy wallowing in this stuff the way a hog wallows in mud. (OK, maybe I feel a little guilty for pigging out on Byrd music by buying 7 CDs of it. But I only feel a LITTLE guilty.)
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This is an absolutely fantastic set. Byrd wrote a lot of keyboard music in his long life, and to have it all available and played so wonderfully is a real pleasure. These pieces are full of melody and invention and I am constantly finding something new in them; any enthusiast for the music of the period will love them. For an admirer of Byrd's choral music and consort songs (as I am) it is a revelation and a joy.

There are seven CDs in this box played on harpsichord, clavicord, muselar and organ. Davitt Moroney shows that he is a master of all of them - his playing is uniformly excellent, with a deep sympathy for the music, impeccable technique and a wealth of brilliant detail. He has shown over the years with his great recordings of Bach, Biber, Purcell and others that he is one of the giants of early music, and this is one of his finest achievements.

I am deighted to see this box reissued at budget price. It remains a bit of an investment, but in my view is well worth the outlay for seven superb CDs. I paid a lot more for mine for a number of years ago, still get huge pleasure from it and have never regretted a single penny. It was hailed as a landmark recording by Gramophone and others when it came out, and that description is certainly justified. It's a brilliant box, and I recommend it in the strongest terms.
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