Performers: Carys Lane, Rebecca Outram, Olive Simpson, Mark Chambers, Patrick Craig, Charles Humphries, Robert Johnston, Julian Stocker, Matthew Vine, Simon Davies, Robert Evans, Charles Pott, Jonathon Arnold, Simon Birchall, Robert Macdonald, Michael McCarthy, Robin Blaze, Andrew Carwood
Playing time: 74'
Recording date: November 1994
The fame of Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521) extended over a long period. Not only were some of his earliest compositions included in the Eton Choirbook, but his settings continued to inspire composers as late as Thomas Tallis. In many ways, Fayrfax' music represents a moment of calm in the development of English music during this era; his phrases all show a balance, inspite of their sometimes-contradictory rhythms. He was clearly the most-celebrated English composer between Taverner and his older contemporaries of the Eton Choirbook.
The Fayrfax Manuscript is the primary source of English secular songs of this era; not suprisingly, Robert Fayrfax is the most prominent composer in the collection.
This is an enthusiastic performance by a moderate-sized, mixed chamber choir. It is also the first of a planned five-volume series. The two main items on this volume are both exceptional in Fayrfax' output: the mass was written for his doctoral exercize and is his most elaborate composition in the genre; the antiphon is among his final works, and one of the most balanced.
The next volumes in this series:
A single package from much of this series:
An earlier recording devoted to Fayrfax:
Somewhat later, Nicholas Ludford (c.1485-1557) is being rediscovered by these same performers; the first volume of his complete festal masses:
Later still is John Merbecke (c.1505-c.1585) who is actually more prominent than Ludford. A recording:
Other composers of this era are even more obscure, but this ensemble intends to continue recording them.
Next on this list, from an earlier layer of repertory is William Cornysh (c.1465-1523):
A broader anthology:
And a recording by the present ensemble devoted to Tallis:
Finally, a recital of music from this era by a different ensemble:
To purchasing information for this disc.
To FAQ references to this recording.
To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb