The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Volume 6

Composer John Bull, William Inglot, William Tisdale
Artist Pieter-Jan Belder harpsichord
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 95458
EAN code 5028421954585
Release August 2018

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About this release

Pieter-Jan Belder continues his superb survey of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, an extraordinary manuscript compiled in the late 16th century and held in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. In this, the sixth volume, Belder focuses on the compositions of John Bull, one of the main contributors to the collection. Principally an organist and organ-builder, Bull left behind a variety of attractive pieces whose charm is belied by the way he often presented himself as a Doctor in music, which might suggest a rather scientific approach to composition. Nonetheless, his Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La, one of the longest and most challenging pieces in the manuscript and reminiscent of Tallis, is appropriately complex, beginning with two-part writing and adding additional voices as it progresses, while employing numerous tempo changes and cross-rhythms.

In contrast to the prolific Bull, the remainder of the recording features a host of composers who appear only a few times in the manuscript. Other than Orlando Gibbons, one of the most important of all virginalists, the other contributors are less well known, and many have obscure or undocumented lives. The repetition of such forms as the pavan and alman across the set, however, allows the listener to make a number of interesting comparisons.

Pieter-Jan Belder is not only a consummate performer but also a serious scholar of keyboard music from the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. His research on the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book has led to a highly informed performance practice. Belder specialises in performance on historical instruments, and he has carefully selected three period harpsichords for this recording in order to create the most authentic sound possible. The listener is rewarded with a substantial set that highlights the superb achievements of the composers of this era, laying the foundations of keyboard music for centuries to come.

The 6th and penultimate instalment of one of the most prestigious and ambitious recording projects in Early Music: the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book!
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 6th issue presents the remainder of the works by John Bull in the manuscript, consisting of dance forms like Galliarda, Pavan, Alman and others. The second CD is dedicated to composers who only contributed a few works to the manuscript: Warrock, Galleazzo, Peerson, Parsons, Tisdale, Inglott, Marchant, Oysermayre, Oldfield and Blytheman.
Pieter-Jan Belder, one of the world’s most respected and prolific harpsichordists, received rave reviews for his previous issues in this series: “..a captivating portrait..full of rhythmic drive..he displays a keen sense of rhythm…broad and brilliant gestures…one of the most important recording projects of this decade..”(Musicweb-International).

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Anonymous: Galiarda XXI
  2. Anonymous: Alman XIV
  3. Anonymous: Praeludium CXVII
  4. John Bull: Christe Redemptor CXXV
  5. John Bull: Dr Bulls Juell CXXXVIII
  6. John Bull: Praeludium CXV
  7. John Bull: Galliarda XVII
  8. John Bull: Prelude and veni Redemptor gentium CVI & CVII
  9. John Bull: The Spanish pavan CXXXIX
  10. John Bull: Veni Redemptor gentium XXXVIII
  11. John Bull: Pavana Trumpet Pavan) XIII
  12. John Bull: Galliarda
  13. John Bull: Praeludium. Dor. CXVI
  14. John Bull: Salvator mundi XLV
  15. Anonymous: Prelude CXI
  16. Anonymous: An almain CC
  17. Anonymous: Corranto CCI
  18. Anonymous: Alman CCII
  19. Anonymous: Corranto CCIII
  20. Anonymous: Corranto CCIV
  21. Anonymous: Corranto CCV
  22. Anonymous: Daunce CCVI
  23. Anonymous: CCIX
  24. Anonymous: Martin Sayd to His Man CCXII

Disk 2

  1. John Bull: Galliard CLXXXV
  2. John Bull: Praeludium D. CLXXXIV
  3. John Bull: Ut re mi fa sol la CCXV
  4. John Bull: A Gigge CLXC
  5. John Bull: A Gigge, Doctor Bulls my selfe CLXXXVIX
  6. John Bull: Misere in Three Parts CLXXIX
  7. John Bull: Galliard CLXXXVI
  8. John Bull: Duchess of Brunswick’s Toy CCLXII
  9. Orlando Gibbons: The Woods so Wilde XL
  10. Thomas Warrock: Pavana XCVII
  11. Thomas Warrock: Galliard XCVIII
  12. ?Sabbatini: Prealudium XCIV
  13. Martin Peerson: Alman XC
  14. Martin Peerson: The Primerose CCLXXI
  15. Robert Parsons: In nomine CXL
  16. Robert Johnson: Alman CXLV
  17. Robert Johnson: Alman CXLVI
  18. William Tisdale: Pavana CCXX
  19. William Tisdale: Almand CCXIII
  20. William Tisdale: Pavana clement cottõ CCXIX
  21. William Tisdale: Galliarda CCXCV
  22. William Tisdale: Pavana chromatica Mrs Katherin Tregians Pavan CCXIV
  23. William Inglot: A Galliard Ground CCL
  24. Anonymous: Alman CCXLIX
  25. John Marchant: Allemanda CLXXXVII
  26. Jehan Oystermayre: Galliarda CCLX
  27. Thomas Oldfield: Praeludium XLIX
  28. John Blitheman: In nomine L