In his later life William Byrd (c1540-1623) was as involved in litigation (relating to his religious beliefs as a Catholic in an aggressively Protestant environment) as he was in music. He was also quite famous for being unusually old.
In my view Byrd was the outstanding musician of his time – a brilliant composer of keyboard music, chamber music for viol consort, solo songs, madrigals and sacred music in English and Latin. Continue reading
Music, Gifts, Innocence and Experience
The choir is now well into rehearsals for The Gift of Music
Not for the first time, I am struck by the imagination, as well as the lateral thinking eccentricity, of the poet William Blake. His The Lamb inspired what I consider Sir John Tavener’s best choral piece. I will resist the temptation to go on about its technical brilliance as a composition, just say that its complex passages hint at the complexity of Blake’s thinking while the beguiling simplicity of the contrasting sections reflect the near naïvety which a swift glance might assign to the poem. Continue reading