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CD Review

William Byrd

Consort Songs

  • Rejoice unto the Lord
  • Ah silly Soul
  • An aged dame
  • dear life, when may it be
  • Come to me, grief for ever
  • Who likes to love
  • that most rare breast
  • All as a sea
  • Ye sacred Muses
  • Constant Penelope
  • God that guides the cheerful sun
  • Lullaby: My sweet little baby
  • How vain the toils
Robin Blaze, countertenor
Hyperion CDA67397 67m DDD
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After their monumental survey of Byrd's Consort Music, Hyperion has now focused their attention on the gorgeous Consort Songs, works of rare beauty interpreted with majesty and charm by the talented Robin Blaze. This music portrays a composer in full command of his artistic and compositional powers and with Concordia in accompaniment; Blaze is going to be quite hard to match.

This is a veritable vocal feast from first note to last. Blaze is completely in his element especially in the sensual tones of 'O that most rare breast' or the equally seductive lullaby 'My sweet little baby'. This is a voice utterly unfettered and its luscious purity is a gorgeous gift to the speakers from which I listened transfixed by the variety and high standard of the music!

The shorter songs such as 'All as a sea' or 'Constant Penelope' also have their own strengths and Blaze is evidently having a whale of a time throughout. The lovely sound of Concordia's viols matched with the exquisite lute here played by Elizabeth Kenny add that extra touch of authenticity to the proceedings. This is a first class disc in interpretation, presentation, and sound so I wholeheartedly recommend it to Byrd enthusiasts!

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech