Recordings on the Soundboard record label

View the contents of your shopping

Go back to main Recordings page


William Byrd

The Melodious Birde

SBCD217 - £12.00


Music by Elizabeth I’s favourite composer.

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

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

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.


back to top

Privacy Policy


© 2013-2019 Colin Booth, harpsichordist and harpsichord maker