Peter Philips: Harpsichord Works

Peter Philips: Harpsichord Works

by Elizabeth Farr


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Peter Philips: Harpsichord Works

A contemporary of John Bull and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Peter Philips was one of the most prolific English composers of the late Renaissance, and he composed in nearly all the available genres and styles of the period. His keyboard works are typical of the Elizabethan era, relying chiefly on the fantasia, pavan, and galliard as standard forms; but his catalog also includes transcriptions of songs and madrigals by other composers, notably Orlande de Lassus and Giulio Caccini, among others. This 2006 release from Naxos presents the best-known pieces, played with élan by Elizabeth Farr on a 1658 Italian harpsichord, restored by Keith Hill. Her performances are actually the saving grace of this recording, because Philips' music tends to be stylistically narrow, limited in modes and harmonies (apart from some piquant dissonances caused by cross-relations), and very chaste in expression; for all the ornaments, variable tempos, and flexible rhythms that are natural features of these pieces, they convey only a small range of emotions and can seem to blend into each other, so restrained are the moods of each. Still, Farr's execution is fluid and clean, and her touch is even throughout, though it can be quite crisp and marcato when necessary. The reproduction by RMC Classical Music, Inc., is first rate and an image of the instrument used in the recording appears on the cover.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/26/2006
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313286423
catalogNumber: 8557864
Rank: 177863


  1. Fantasia for keyboard in F major (1582)
  2. Amarilli for keyboard
  3. Chi fara fed'al cielo, FVB 9
  4. Work(s): Pavan in G major
  5. Deccio Dunque partire, for keyboard in D minor (after Luca Marenzio)
  6. Work(s): Io partirò (Luca marenzio, 1553-1599)
  7. Work(s): Ma voi, caro ben mio (Luca Marenzio, 1553-1599)
  8. Pavan and Galliard for consort in 5 parts "Paget"
  9. Bon Jour Mon Cueur di Orlando (Fitzwilliam Virginal Book)
  10. Le Rossignol
  11. Margott Laborez
  12. Fantasia in d
  13. Fece da voi partita, FVB 4
  14. Passamezzo Pavan and Galliard

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