|Will Forster's Viginal Book
|Jon Baxendale and Francis Knights
|413 ページ・22 x 30 cm （横）・ハードカバー
Will Forster was a London civil servant who amassed several properties in London, a ‘harpsicall’ and a large chest of eight viols, which were distributed between his children when he died in 1645. However, this was not his only legacy since he also copied a book of 72 keyboard pieces, of which over a half is devoted to William Byrd, who died less than a year before the book was completed. Much of the Byrd content is unique to this volume, and Forster’s sources appear to have been copies that were close to the composer’s prototypes.
It is a mystery that none has thought to edit the manuscript before now. Nothing is known of the book between Forster’s death and its appearance in the Royal Music Library under the title Lessons by Mr Bird &c and given to the State in the 1970s as a part of the newly formed British Library. Without Forster’s help, we would be missing a large body of music unknown in other sources. It includes five grounds by Byrd and a host of pavans and galliards, Thomas Morley’s ‘Quadran Pavine’, Byrd’s arrangement of Edward Johnson’s ‘Medley’, keyboard intabulations and a host of other unique pieces.
Will Forster’s Virginal Book contains 417 pages of text and music, making it one of the more substantial books in the Lyrebird catalogue. Prefatory material looks at the manuscript, music and how the notation affects performance.