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Fantasia, BK63

FVB (No 8). [Neighbour, ‘Fantasia G3’ p 242]

The first thirty bars are a sort of introduction, calmly imitative, like a prelude; they serve as an intonazione to set the tone (Mixolydian G major). There follows a passage recalling (or rather anticipating) polychoral imitation; a passage is heard first played by the high ‘choir,’ then an octave lower. Another high passage (a duet) is heard, imitated an octave lower, then extended throughout the whole texture, leading to an involved polyphonic discussion. Less serious discourse then leads through a more virtuoso section to a dance, first presented with complicated cross rhythms. Particularly characteristic of this work, which probably dates from the 1570s, is the technique of decorated repetition, applied to various paragraphs of music. Ever unwilling to repeat himself literally, Byrd always enriches any material he repeats. In the final paragraph, the piece unwinds to a calm repose.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Les trente premières mesures, calmes et imitatives, servent d’introduction, comme une sorte de prélude ou d’intonazione qui donne le ton (en l’occurence, sol majeur, mixolydien). Le passage qui suit anticipe l’imitation polychorale des Vénitiens. Une phrase entonnée par le chœur “haut” est reprise une octave plus bas par le chœur “grave”. Un duo aigu s’ensuit, imité une octave plus bas, puis développé sur tout le clavier. Une sorte de débat polyphonique s’enchaîne ensuite avec un discours moins sérieux, plus brillant. Celui-ci cède la place à la danse, dont les rythmes compliqués sont particulièrement intéressants. Dans cette œuvre, qui date probablement des années 1570, l’utilisation du principe de la reprise variée à l’intérieur d’une fantaisie libre est très caractéristique. Réprouvant depuis sa jeunesse l’idée de se répéter de façon littérale, Byrd enrichit toujours toutes les phrases qu’il reprend. A la toute fin, toute l’énergie se dissipe dans un beau decrescendo.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999


Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music
CDS44461/77CDs Boxed set (at a special price)


Track 6 on CDS44461/7 CD4 [4'32] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDA66551/7 disc 4 track 6

Recording date
31 March 1992
Recording venue
Ingatestone Hall, Ingatestone, Essex, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Edward Kershaw
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDA66551/7)
    Disc 4 Track 6
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 4 Track 6
    Release date: September 2010
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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