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Byrd: Consort Songs

Robin Blaze , Concordia , William Byrd Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £12.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Product details

  • Composer: William Byrd
  • Audio CD (23 April 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B0001ZXMNG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,380 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rejoice Unto the Lord
2. Ah silly soul
3. An aged dame
4. O dear life, when may it be
5. Come to me, grief, for ever
6. Who likes to love
7. O that most rare breast
8. All as a sea
9. Ye Sacred Muses
10. Constant Penelope
11. O God that guides the cheerful sun
12. Lullaby: My sweet little baby
13. How vain the toils

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music, beautifully played 21 May 2010
By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
(Update, September 2013: This wonderful disc has now been re-released at budget price: Byrd: Consort Songs [Robin Blaze, Concordia] [Hyperion:CDH55429)

This is one of the best discs of Byrd's consort songs that I know. (The other is by Emma Kirkby and Fretwork, also highly recommended: Byrd - Consort Songs). This disc contains thirteen of his best consort songs from the celebratory "Rejoice unto the Lord" to the laments for Sidney (Come to me grief forever) and for Tallis (the sublime Ye sacred Muses), with love songs, lullabies and plenty else in between. It's an excellent, varied programme, full of Byrd's sense of melody and really inventive harmonic structures. Some people claim that William Byrd was the greatest ever English composer, and this disc makes that seem a defensible claim.

The performances are absolutely top-class. Robin Blaze is now regarded as one of the world's finest countertenors and this disc is a good example of why. His intonation is impeccable (not the case with every countertenor in the world) he has an unforced but powerful voice with a lovely tone and he sings the songs with real feeling for their meaning - Ye sacred Muses is truly affecting, for example. The viol consort Concordia have also developed an very well-deserved international reputation, and their playing here is delightful; immaculately controlled and balanced with a beautiful, rich tone and again with a wonderful sense of the song itself. They and Robin Blaze have a real empathy and the combination of their performances and the music produces something really special, I think.

In addition, the recorded sound by Hyperion is excellent and the notes are full and very interesting. It's a really excellent disc and extremely warmly recommended.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan 18 Jan 2006
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
MUCH OF THE SACRED ON THIS RECORDING SO BLAZE BECOMES ABLAZE! (NOT HIS USUAL DELIVERY,WHICH IS OFTEN RATHER BLAND!)

The consort songs of William Byrd reveal both sides of his creative personality; that is 'the romantic Catholic figure' and the 'abstract expressionist'. He was a connoisseur of the vocal sound and was therefore more concerned in framing his music to the 'life of the words' by using the expressive power of the voice itself.

Byrd's emphasis on sheer beautiful sound as it applies to the professional voice is very evident on this album. Two songs to take note of because of their significance in England when Byrd wrote them are: "Come to me Grief Forever" which was about the death of Sir Philip Sidney, the artist-hero whose tragic demise at the battle of Zutphen inspired national mourning; and "ye sacred muses" written as a special tribute to his musical mentor Sir Thomas Tallis who died in 1585.

Robin Blaze interprets these songs very skillfully. There is much of the sacred going on here as well as the romantic, but it all sounds good and is very enjoyable to hear. The album opens up with "Rejoice unto the Lord" sung exceptionally well by Blaze to the expert accompaniment of viols and lute. One of my personal favorites "Lullaby: My Sweet little baby" is also included and is well-done. All in all and excellent disc!
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music, beautifuuly perfromed 16 April 2011
By Sid Nuncius - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the best disc of Byrd's consort songs that I know. (The other is by Emma Kirkby and Fretwork, also highly recommended: Byrd - Consort Songs). This disc contains thirteen of his best consort songs from the celebratory "Rejoice unto the Lord" to the laments for Sidney (Come to me grief forever) and for Tallis (the sublime Ye sacred Muses), with love songs, lullabies and plenty else in between. It's an excellent, varied programme, full of Byrd's sense of melody and really inventive harmonic structures. Some people claim that William Byrd was the greatest ever English composer, and this disc makes that seem a defensible claim.

The performances are absolutely top-class. Robin Blaze is now regarded as one of the world's finest countertenors and this disc is a good example of why. His intonation is impeccable (not the case with every countertenor in the world) he has an unforced but powerful voice with a lovely tone and he sings the songs with real feeling for their meaning - Ye sacred Muses is truly affecting, for example. The viol consort Concordia have also developed an very well-deserved international reputation, and their playing here is delightful; immaculately controlled and balanced with a beautiful, rich tone and again with a wonderful sense of the song itself. They and Robin Blaze have a real empathy and the combination of their performances and the music produces something really special, I think.

In addition, the recorded sound by Hyperion is excellent and the notes are full and very interesting. It's a really excellent disc and extremely warmly recommended.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Blaze, wonderful Byrd 26 Oct 2010
By David Greco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Stunning singing from robin Blaze here, and perfect pieces for his voice. Gorgeous music by Byrd, his consort music seems much too underrated these days, maybe not any more with disks like this coming out. Highly highly recommended!!
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