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The Early Byrd CD

Price: £14.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Robert Hollingworth founded I Fagiolini in 1986. Directing this group has taken up much of his time since but he has directed other ensembles at home and abroad, most recently the French choir Accentus, BBC Singers, NDR Chor, the Academy of Ancient Music and the English Concert. In 2004 Robert directed the Nederlands Kamerkoor in a ground-breaking new music-theatre project (Faust) set in ... Read more in Amazon's Robert Hollingworth Store

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Frequently Bought Together

The Early Byrd + Byrd: The Caged Byrd + The Triumphs of Oriana - Compiled by Thomas Morley /I Fagiolini · Hollingworth
Price For All Three: £41.53

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Product details

  • Performer: Sophie Yates
  • Orchestra: I Fagiolini
  • Composer: William Byrd
  • Audio CD (1 Oct 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chaconne
  • ASIN: B000000A60
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,486 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Attollite portasFagiolini, I 4:40£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Triumphant with pleasant melodyFagiolini, I 3:34£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. O Lord, how vainFagiolini, I 6:55£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. All in a garden greenSophie Yates 4:08£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Domine, secundum actum meumFagiolini, I 7:32£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Truth at the firstFagiolini, I 2:59£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Who likes to loveFagiolini, I 4:43£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Wilson's wildSophie Yates 1:20£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Da mihi auxiliumFagiolini, I 6:40£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Farewell, false loveFagiolini, I 7:00£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. O mistress mine, I mustSophie Yates 4:40£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Miserere mihi, DomineFagiolini, I 2:16£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. My mind to me a kingdomFagiolini, I 6:02£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. La volta in No. 1 in G Major, "Lady Morley"Sophie Yates 1:28£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Ad Dominum cum tribularerFagiolini, I 8:55Album Only

Product Description

CHA 0578; CHANDOS - Inghilterra;

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr A D Hope on 29 Aug 2001
Format: Audio CD
When I Fagiolini and Fretwork were given the opportunity to join forces and record some early works of the great English maestro William Byrd it was a real break with tradition from Chandos, the record label. Normally Byrd's sacred choral repertoire is given the 'church choir' treatment. Here was presented the same music in a private, saecular, devotional, chamber music format, much in the way it was conceived. Consort songs, including the best of its kind - O Lord, how vain - put this motet performing style into context. It works beautifully. The virginal music is performed with precision by Sophie Yates, making three distinct genres on one CD. Some listeners may not enjoy the vibrato from the sopranos, but it must be remembered that this isn't supposed to be a church choir sound. I quickly became accustomed to the rich, full sonority. Purists will like the Tudor English pronounciation, which sometimes sounds comically rural, though the words are occasionally lost in the soprano songs (too high). I've come back to this recording again and again, which is a clear indication of its high quality.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Early Byrd for Byrd fans 8 Sep 2013
By J. Blee - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful presentation of early works by Byrd done by one of the best of today's early music groups, I Fagiolini.
What's makes I Fagiolini special is that they present Byrd's music with an emotional resonance sometimes lacking in other groups. They build the music, but know and feel out what's hidden inside of it. That makes it for me much fuller and more robust.
Even the worm couldn't resist this stunning compilation... 12 May 2013
By ewomack - Published on
Verified Purchase
"The Early Byrd," with its appropriately punning title, presents an almost overwhelming taste of the early works of the Tudor composer William Byrd. His stunning versatility at even a young age emerges in over an hour of this collection's music. Everything from sacred works in Latin, Virginal keyboard music and more secular music in English appear here, arranged not by type or category, which would have produced a more academic or encyclopedic feel, but in an order that showcases the true range of Byrd's compositional skill. Latin motets appear alongside rich arrangements of viols that seem to float before the listener. Then a virginal comes in to provide even more variety to the mix. Some early music collections suffer from repetition where the arrangements and melodies of each piece almost seem to blend into one, giving the false impression that so-called "early music" was monolithic in style. "The Early Byrd" sits at the farthest extreme from such compilations.

The first four pieces exemplify this. "Attollite Portas" starts off with a hypnotic polyphony of Latin infused and unaccompanied singing of Psalm 24, verses 7 - 10. Next, the viols come in to provide the gorgeous lilting undertow of "Triumph with pleasant melody" in which a "sinner" and Christ have a musical dialogue in English concerning salvation. Period pronunciation was used, so, for example, listeners will not hear the word "rejoice" in the modern pronunciation, but a word that sounds closer to "Rejwess." This lends a definite aura of authenticity, particularly accompanied by an explanation in the CD booklet (thankfully downloadable from the Chandos website) explaining that detailed descriptions of period phonetics do still exist. So these seemingly lost pronunciations do not represent a mere educated guess. The next song, "O Lord, how vain," stands as one of the collection's high points. Words by Sir Philip Sidney on the vanity of earthly desire waft beautifully, almost to a painful degree, above a layer of viols that demands repeated listening. An absolutely amazing piece. Following this, "All in a Garden Green" brings in the unaccompanied virginal to present a completely different mood, setting and instrumentation. The entire collection, with some exceptions, flows in this manner with equal samplings of every style represented.

Nearly every track is a standout, but a few manage to rise above even these high standards. "My mind to me a kingdom is" follows the instrumentation of "O Lord, how vain" and "Triumph with pleasant melody" and contains melodies that could be described as "catchy" in an almost modern verse-chorus sense. The words by Sir Edward Dyer extol the life of the mind in nearly Stoic, or even Spinozistic, fashion: "My mind to me a kingdom is; Such perfect joy therein I find / That it excels all other bliss / Which God or Nature hath assign'd" and "Lo, thus I triumph as a king; My mind content with anything." Even people today could learn something from these words.

This collection showcases the often underrated power of "early music." Contrary to some popular belief, music at this time was quite sophisticated, poignant and capable of delivering a powerful physical reaction, in the manner of great music from any age. It also presents William Byrd as one of his era's great talents. These songs often approach the miraculous. Coupled with great performances all around on every instrument, including the human voice, "The Early Byrd" would entrance anyone who appreciates great music. Probably the best news is that a follow-up exists: "The Caged Byrd," which samples Byrd's later works. Both volumes are incredible.
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