🎻♫♪ – My Ladye Nevells Booke by William Byrd

List Item: Listen to half of the 1001 Classical Works You Must Hear Before You Die
68/501Title: My Ladye Nevells Booke
Composer: William Byrd
Nationality: English

You know the phrase ‘be careful what you wish for because it may come true’? There’s a ring of truth in the piece that I listened to today, seeing how it was over three hours of keyboard music. Now look, I know that I have been complaining about the abundance of choral music when doing this list chronologically. So here I am with hour after hour of keyboards and percussion without a voice to be heard and I’m complaining again.

It’s not that I’m never happy, it’s just that 3 hour 12 minutes of music in broadly the same genre can get a bit grating after a while. When it first began I was really wowed at just how different this is to the other works that came before it. There were pieces with aggression (like ‘march before the battel’ and the rest of the ‘battel’ section) and some that sounded very similar to ‘Good King Winceslas’. This all meant that, for the first hour, I was enjoying things.

I soon began to experience fatigue and ended up having to take breaks – even though I was cooking for part of it and had this music as some background noise. This really isn’t a selection to be gone through in one sitting. Once broken up a bit, you can really appreciate the complex keyboard work – which feels like his attempts to get the vocal polyrhythms of older pieces onto an actual instrument.

It’s an ambitious collection for some patroness that it looks like we’re still not completely sure of the identity. That, with the overall feel of the music, does make this a really interesting entry on the classical list… just not for 3 hours 12 minutes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.