Seventeen works by William Byrd ( c. 1540-1623) are played by British keyboardist Colin Booth who also built the three historically correct instruments upon which he plays the music, all copied after the style of 16th-century virginals and harpsichords available in England. His essay on Byrd, the instruments of the day, and those used for this CD informs us greatly. This CD is imported by Raven and is produced by Colin Booth's label, Soundboard.
Lord Willoughby’s Welcome Home
The Queen’s Alman
Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la
The Carman’s Whistle
Jhon Come Kisse Me Now
Pavana Ph. Tr.
A Voluntarie for my ladye nevell
Richard Turbet, a world authority on William Byrd and with an encyclopaedic knowledge of recordings of his music, has compared this CD with a selection by the late Gustav Leonhardt: “…in their different ways both Leonhardt and Booth bring out the best and most profound elements in Byrd’s earliest keyboard masterpiece, the Prelude and Fantasia in A. …clarity and empathy are Booth’s forte ….the disc’s ‘selling point’ rests upon the quality of Booth’s musicianship. I would suggest that his version of the often-recorded Pavan and Galliard pairing dedicated to ‘Ph. Tr.’, a particularly intense work even by Byrd’s standards, is the finest on disc.