Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Byrd - Complete Keyboard Music - Moroney

Rating: 5/5

A brilliant box

This is an absolutely fantastic set. Byrd wrote a lot of keyboard music in his long life, and to have it all available and played so wonderfully is a real pleasure. These pieces are full of melody and invention and I am constantly finding something new in them; any enthusiast for the music of the period will love them. For an admirer of Byrd's choral music and consort songs (as I am) it is a revelation and a joy.

There are seven CDs in this box played on harpsichord, clavicord, muselar and organ. Davitt Moroney shows that he is a master of all of them - his playing is uniformly excellent, with a deep sympathy for the music, impeccable technique and a wealth of brilliant detail. He has shown over the years with his great recordings of Bach, Biber, Purcell and others that he is one of the giants of early music, and this is one of his finest achievements.

I am deighted to see this box reissued at budget price. It remains a bit of an investment, but in my view is well worth the outlay for seven superb CDs. I paid a lot more for mine for a number of years ago, still get huge pleasure from it and have never regretted a single penny. It was hailed as a landmark recording by Gramophone and others when it came out, and that description is certainly justified. It's a brilliant box, and I recommend it in the strongest terms.

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