The extraordinary Fitzwilliam Virginal Book is a fascinating document housed in the Fitzwilliam Library in Cambridge, UK. It was probably compiled by Francis Treggian in the early 17th century, while he sat in prison for refusing to renounce his Catholicism. Whatever its origins, the exceptional manuscript contains almost 300 pieces, including many by known Roman Catholic sympathisers. In this, the fourth volume of the series, Pieter-Jan Belder focuses on the works by Giles Farnaby and John Bull, with Farnaby being one of the few Protestants represented in the manuscript. It’s likely that the two composers knew each other, as there are a number of clear similarities between their two styles, and the keyboard figurations of the two composers are at times indistinguishable. For this reason, Pieter-Jan Belder decided to group the two composers together for this release. The harpsichord pieces vary from Pavans and Galliards to Fantasias and Maskes (short interludes), as well as transcriptions of and embellishments on traditional folk tunes. The release concludes with Bull’s Quadran Pavan and Galiard, probably the longest piece in the entire Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, with an extensive variation of the pavan followed by a galliard made up of three distinct and varied sections.
Pieter-Jan Belder is a prolific recording artist, with over 130 CD recordings to his name. This is the fourth volume in his acclaimed series of recordings from The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, with the first praised by Fanfare, who said ‘this is one complete recording series that I want to see to completion’. Joined by his student Gerhard Boogaard for one track – who also built the Ruckers harpsichord featured on this disc – Belder tackles the diverse and complex world of Elizabethan harpsichord music with ease.
This new instalment in the first complete recording of the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, a prestigious project of unprecedented scope and importance, is a double-CD containing works by Farnaby and Bull.
The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book is the most famous, extensive and important collection of keyboard music from the English Elizabethan and Jacobean Era. Lodged in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge it contains more than 300 works for the virginal, by composers such as John, Bull, William Byrd, Thomas Tomkins and many others.
This set contains works by Giles Farnaby and John Bull, two famous British keyboardists, and consist of a wide variety of dance forms such as Pavan, Galliarda, Fantasia and instrumental arrangements of popular songs or madrigals.
Pieter Jan Belder is one of the world’s foremost keyboard players, with an astonishing number of CD’s to his name: the complete Scarlatti Sonatas, Bach keyboard works, Rameau, Soler, Duphly, Marais, CPE Bach, Corelli, Purcell, Telemann…he also wrote the excellent liner notes in the booklet.
Recorded in The Netherlands in 2014 -2015.
Contains extensive liner notes by Greg Holt and Pieter-Jan Belder, including notes on every piece.
Contains biography of the artist.