Fitzwilliam Virginal Book Volume 1

In this video

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All volumes of the Virginal Book: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_qM1lclHDwVQRrMsH-X9HeFqG54Js91k

Composer: Giles Farnaby, John Bull, John Munday, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins, William Byrd
Artists: Pieter-Jan Belder (harpsichord)

Harpsichords:
by Cornelis Bom, Flemish after Ruckers 1999
Italian after Giusti 2003 Italian virginal 1995
by Martin Skowroneck, after Ruckers 2007
by Martin Skowroneck, Flemish after Ruckers 2007, kindly loaned by Pieter-Jan Belder’s student Gerhard Boogaard

This remarkable collection of works for the virginal, or small harpsichord, is found in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is the largest collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean keyboard music, all handwritten and totalling nearly 300 compositions, all of which predate the first keyboard music published in England by about 50 years.

The identity of the copyist of these works is uncertain, although a fascinating riddle. The manuscript is a role call of the leading composers of the era – John Bull, Giles Farnaby, William Byrd, Peter Philips, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins and a number of unknown composers all feature. The copyist was, therefore, immersed in the world of keyboard music, with connections to the great composers of the day.

Research seems to point to one Francis Tregian from Cornwall, who may have copied the music whilst in Fleet prison from 1608 until his death in 1619. He certainly had time on his hands, but how he obtained the materials and original music is far from clear. His connection to Cornwall is important – William Cornyshe (whose surname probably indicated his birthplace) was a significant composer during the reign of Henry VII and Henry VIII, while Farnaby and Tomkins also came from Cornwall.

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Tracklist:
0:00:00 Walsingham (John Bull)
0:15:51 Fantasia (Giles Farnaby)
0:21:01 Piper’s Paven (Martin Peerson)
0:26:16 Piper’s Galliard (John Bull)
0:28:31 Pavana Ph.Tr. (William Byrd)
0:34:12 Galliarda (William Byrd)
0:36:12 Pavana Pagget (Peter Philips)
0:43:25 Galiarda (Peter Philips)
0:45:55 Praeludium (John Bull)
0:47:33 Gloria tibi trinitas (In Nomine) (John Bull)
0:50:32 Toccata (Giovanni Picchi)
0:54:32 Pawles Wharfe (Giles Farnaby)
0:56:50 (Fantastic) Pavana (John Bull)
1:03:36 (Fantastic) Galiarda (John Bull)
1:06:10 A Grounde (Thomas Tomkins)
1:13:15 Pavana (Orlando Gibbons)
1:16:16 The Leaves bee greene (William Inglot)
1:19:46 The Bells (William Byrd)
1:26:38 Goe from my window (John Munday/Thomas Morley)
1:32:04 Fantasia (William Byrd)
1:37:12 Coranto (William Byrd)
1:38:12 Amarilli di Julio Romano (Peter Philips)
1:41:42 The old Spagnoletta (Giles Farnaby)
1:42:42 Pavana (Giles Farnaby)
1:49:35 Nowel’s Galliard (Anon.)
1:51:14 Barafostus’ Dreame (Anon.)
1:53:54 The K(ing’s) Hunt (Giles Farnaby)
1:56:19 Muscadin (Giles Farnaby)
1:57:43 Fantasia (Nicholas Strogers)
2:00:38 Barafostus’ Dreame (Thomas Tomkins)
2:06:44 In Nomine (Doctor Bull)
2:10:03 The King’s Hunt (John Bull)
2:14:04 Johnson’s Medley (Edward Johnson)
2:18:03 In Nomine (John Bull)
2:24:21 The Fall of the Leafe (Martin Peerson)

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