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Phantasm’s Recording Of Byrd’s Complete Consort Music

Byrd's complete music for viol consort recorded recently by the ensemble Phantasm.

Stirling Castle: Byrd's workplace in 1594

Photo: Wieschendahl

Stirling Castle: the home of the Chapel Royal where William Byrd shared the position of organist with Thomas Tallis. This castle was built in 1594

The viol ensemble Phantasm has recently released a recording of William Byrd’s complete consort music. For hundreds of years, people have written about the physical and psychological benefits of music, and the music of Byrd’s time was no exception. In fact, an Italian treatise, translated by Sir Thomas Hoby stated that “just as bodily exercise maketh the body more lusty,” music “brings into us a new habit that is good and a custom inclining to virtue which maketh the mind more apt to the conceiving of felicity.” It was into this receptive audience that Byrd began to create his consort music.

Music Heard On This Episode

William Byrd: In nomine a 5
Phantasm — William Byrd: Complete Consort Music (Linn Records, 2011)
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album cover
William Byrd: In nomine a 5
Phantasm — William Byrd: Complete Consort Music (Linn Records, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
William Byrd: Pavan and Galliarde a 6
Phantasm — William Byrd: Complete Consort Music (Linn Records, 2011)
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album cover
Anna Pranger

Anna Pranger moved to Bloomington in 2009 to pursue a degree in music librarianship. Before this, she worked on a degree in music history at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She serves as both an assistant producer for Harmonia and the Music Library Assistant for WFIU.

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  • Kittybriton KB

    Sir Thomas was right! There is a beautiful clarity about the tone of the viol which is missing from the sound of the violin, IMO because of the difference between a string shortened by a fret as opposed to holding down with a finger.

    But much more than this, I am beginning to discover the extraordinary importance of vibrations in all aspects of the universe around us.

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