From Byrd to Byrd is the funny legend that perches on the cover of this album from German harpsichord player Friederike Chylek, who studied under Jesper Christensen at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, where she currently lives. As well as being a recitalist she works with various baroque ensembles and forms a duet with violinist Simon Standage with whom she records for Chandos.
William Byrd's range and formidable musical inventiveness has influenced many English harpsichordists down the years. Often thought of as "the father of English music", he was one of the most important composers in the era of Shakespeare, protected by Queen Elizabeth I who granted him the rare monopoly of musical printing in England for more than twenty years.
This privilege allowed his music to spread and influence a whole generation of musicians, in particular his students John Bull, Thomas Morley and Peter Philips. Recorded in 2017 and based on a Matthias Griewisch copy of a Ruckers harpsichord from 1624, this anthology by Friederike Chylek paints a very rich panorama of a profusion of English music, savouring the works of Dowland, Locke, Lawes, Purcell, Gibbons and Morley, bookended by that of William Byrd of whom everything is an echo, and two whom everything returns in the end. © François Hudry/Qobuz