WILLIAM BYRD - THE BELLS - Michael Maxwell Steer
"This remarkable piece is one of several pieces written by William Byrd imitating the world around him in the late 16thC. Tho a Catholic, Byrd remained in post as Master of the Chapel Royal under Elizabeth, who seems to have protected him. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Byrd
The only surviving copy of this music is in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (aka Q Elizabeth's Virginal Book) which was probably compiled by a fellow Catholic Francis Tregian, during a 20 year imprisonment for his faith from 1583/4-1602.
A virginals is a small-scale harpsichord for domestic use - it was named in honour 'the virgin queen' [Elizabeth 1] who was a good player.
The Bells is the earliest evidence of the English practice of 'change-ringing', whose origins are lost in time and which was not used on the continent. "
The music & performances of Michael Maxwell Steer
Musician - composer, performer,
Producer /teacher /writer