top of page

William Byrd
The Melodious Birde


Extract from Pavana | Track 7William Byrd
00:00 / 01:30
Extract from The Carman’s Whistle | Track 10William Byrd
00:00 / 01:30


Music by Elizabeth I’s favourite composer.

My love of William Byrd’s music is as old as my obsession with the harpsichord. The moods within his pieces range from solemn introspection to playful virtuosity. Above all, I was keen to convey the poetry and lyricism which is often absent in present-day performance of his work. Three instruments were used, with very different sounds. All were also historically appropriate.

Track list:

  1. Lord Willoughby’s Welcome Home

  2. Ground

  3. Third Pavan

  4. Third Galliard

  5. The Queen’s Alman

  6. Fantasia

  7. Pavana

  8. Galiarda

  9. Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la

  10. The Carman’s Whistle

  11. Jhon Come Kisse Me Now

  12. Prelude

  13. Fantasia

  14. Pavana Ph. Tr.

  15. Galiarda

  16. Ground

  17. A Voluntarie for my ladye nevell


Total playing time: 75.50


Richard Turbet, a world authority on William Byrd, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of recordings of his music, has compared this CD with a selection by the late Gustav Leonhardt. His review for The Consort contains the following:


…in their different ways both of these performers (Leonhardt and Booth) bring out the best and most profound elements in Byrd’s earliest keyboard masterpiece, the Prelude and Fantasia in A.
…clarity and empathy are Booth’s forte and his version of the well-known Third Pavan and Galliard illustrates these qualities in his playing.
…the disc’s ‘selling point’ rests upon the quality of Booth’s musicianship. I would suggest that his version of the often-recorded Pavan and Galliard pairing dedicated to ‘Ph. Tr.’, a particularly intense work even by Byrd’s standards, is the finest on disc.

A more detailed review, by Mark Sealey at the online classical music source Classical Net, can be read here: Classical Net review by Mark Sealey.

Lovely improvisatory feel and gorgeous sound.
Richard Lester

As always, the playing is both characterful and expressive and the programme really does show off this extraordinary composer in all his glory. Many congratulations on another splendid recording.
Paul Bambrough

I listened right through the Byrd yesterday, using scores, and enjoyed the recording very much... Again I think you will have the British critics scrambling for superlatives! Well done.
Colin Tilney

bottom of page