Byrd: Consort Songs. Blaze
Robin Blaze (countertenor), Concordia
Byrd: Consort Songs
This mid-priced reissue draws the listener into the richly layered world of Queen Elizabeth I. William Byrdâ€™s consort songs tell of courtly love; Sir Philip Sidneyâ€™s demise in battle becomes an eloquent lament; an old woman tumbling down amid a flurry of human skulls represents contemporary desires for freedom of speech; moral temptations are likened to a storm-tossed ship; and a hymn to the Muses is inspired by the death of Thomas Tallis. The longest single piece here is Byrdâ€™s famous Lullaby My sweet little baby. Despite Byrdâ€™s claims that these works were designed to persuade everyone to learn how to sing, this music makes the highest vocal demands - demands far exceeded in the glorious singing of Robin Blaze.