WILLIAM BYRD - Canonic Fantasia 1: Ut Re Mi - Michael Maxwell Steer
"This is the first of a pair of pieces in the 'Fitzwilliam' Virginal Book (compiled c160) which show William Byrd's resourceful imagination. A motif of 6 adjacent notes (C D E F G A) rises & falls 17 times during the piece in varied ways, around which Byrd brings in exhilarating rhythmic developments.
I've intercut footage of nearby Wardour Castle (& my dogs!) to illustrate the kind of environment in which the music would first have been heard. Derelict since the English Civil War, Wardour Castle was built in the 15thC by the Arundell family who, like Byrd, never converted to Protestantism and were typical of the Catholic aristocracy that formed Byrd's protectors - tho there is no record of his ever visiting Wardour.
My harpsichord was made in 1996 by Michael Ellis-Jones using a Delin Flemish copy. "