Olga Haley (Soprano)
The Wireless String Orchestra, conducted by Stanford Robinson
Byrd's piece is among the oldest of all instrumental music. Four hundred years ago, almost the only cultivated music was for voices By the end of the sixteenth century Composers had begun to write for instruments. Naturally, the style was at first a good deal like that of the vocal music, for the special capabilities of instruments had all to be discovered.
But English composers (who were pioneers in the field) almost at once began to find out how to write effectively for the Keyboard instrument of the day, the Virginals, and for the family of Stringed instruments the Viols (roughly corresponding to our Violins, Violas and 'Cellos).
This Fantasia, originally written for six Viols has only recently been edited for performance by modern Stringed instruments.
Mr. Dunhill has arranged a number of Handel's short pieces (mostly movements in dance styles) into a Suite. The titles of the various pieces are Prelude and Pastorale, Rigaudon (originally a Provencal dance for a single pair of partners, having a leaping step in it), Sarabande (for long the chief slow dance of the old 'Suites'), Gavotte, Minuet, and Gigue.