Fantasias and Related Works
William Byrd is one of the great English composers of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Today this creative Catholic at the Anglican court of Elisabeth I is known primarily for his masses, motets and madrigals. However, in addition to vocal music he also composed an impressive number of keyboard pieces that brook comparison in quality with those of his younger contemporaries Frescobaldi and Sweelinck. This edition contains a selection of his major works for keyboard instruments, some taken from such famous collections as the “Fitzwilliam Virginal Book”, “Parthenia” and “My Ladye Nevells Booke”. In addition to five large-scale fantasias, including the monumental “Fantasia in a”, there are smaller preludes and voluntaries and three contrapuntal hexachord settings. The Foreword offers a detailed overview and evaluation of the sources, brief descriptions of the pieces and valuable information on notation and performance practice.