Hyperion Records

A Verse of Two Parts, BK28
Tomkins (No 10, p 38). [Neighbour, ‘Fantasia C4’ p 225]

'Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music' (CDS44461/7)
Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music
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Track 9 on CDS44461/7 CD3 [1'46] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

A Verse of Two Parts, BK28
This little fancy (despite its name ‘Verse’) is a brilliant and playful piece in the C major Ionian mode. It was probably composed quite early in Byrd’s career, by the mid-1560s. The 2-part writing is typical of much organ music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The harmonies are amply filled in by the resonance in a large building. Nevertheless, this piece could possibly have originated as a consort bicinium (despite the brief addition of a third voice at the very end). The same style was later used by Giles Farnaby’s son Richard in his rather similar C major Duo (FVB, no. 238), and by Sweelinck in his G minor fantasia.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

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