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Phantasm - William Byrd - MusicWeb International


27 May 2011
MusicWeb International
Brian Wilson

With Byrd's complete vocal music now available from the Cardinall's Musick (earlier volumes on ASV, later volumes from Hyperion) and his complete keyboard works on offer from Davitt Moroney (Hyperion again), the new Linn recording of the complete consort music, conveniently fitting (just) on one disc - that's prescience for you on Byrd's part - is very welcome...Only those chronically indisposed to listen to Byrd's consort music - like that of Dowland, it's mostly in the fashionable downbeat, often melancholy style - should steer clear. If anything, Phantasm's slightly understated style serves to emphasise the melancholy side of the music, which I like...If you like Phantasm's Byrd, try their recording of music by John Ward (CKD339, October 2009 Roundup)...That recording was made in Wadham College Chapel, the new one in the fine acoustic of Merton College Chapel. I downloaded the lossless (wma) version, which sounds very good; those with younger and sharper ears will want the SACD or one of the 24-bit versions.
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