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BYRD, BULL & GIBBONS: Parthenia – Alina Rotaru, harpsichord – Sono Luminus

BYRD, BULL & GIBBONS: Parthenia – Alina Rotaru, harpsichord – Sono Luminus

BYRD, BULL & GIBBONS: Parthenia – Alina Rotaru, harpsichord – Sono Luminus DSL-92208, 52:52 (10/28/16) ****: Three Tudor masters assembled in first printed keyboard collection to honor a royal wedding. We first met Alina Rotaru on her debut recording dedicated to Johann Froberger back in 2012. That recording was a skillful investigation of the French Baroque aesthetic at its high-water mark. There followed a much-praised recital of Sweelinck. On the present recording, she turns back towards the early 17th century and the famous troika of Tudor virginalists, Byrd, Bull, and Gibbons. In 1613, works of these three English masters were gathered into a collection for a special occasion, the wedding between Elizabeth Stuart and Frederick V of the German Palatinate. The publication was loftily titled Parthenia, or the Maydenhead of the first musicke that was ever printed for the Virginalis. In fact, it was the first keyboard collection ever published anywhere and among the earliest examples of copperplate publishing. Thus, there is great political and cultural significance to the Parthenia. The music is very fine, although for the uninitiated, taking in 21 straight pieces in the austere idiom of the Tudor virginalists may evoke time diliation. Oddly, the latest born […]