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All of the volumes in the new Byrd Edition, which is under the General Editorship of Philip Brett, are now available.
Dr Fellowes began in 1937 ‘an attempt to issue in practical form a complete corpus of the Vocal Works of William Byrd’. He planned his edition in 16 volumes, adding a later volume of Chamber Music for Strings and three volumes of Keyboard Music, the last of which appeared in 1950.
The revision of the series began in 1962 under the direction of Thurston Dart. Volumes 2, 3 and 12 –14 (all containing music from the printed sources) were re-issued with such alterations and corrections as could be carried out on the original engraved plates. It was soon found that much of the collection required more extensive amendment, and between 1968 and 1971 volumes 15 and 17 were edited afresh, and volumes 18 – 20 were replaced by volumes 27 and 28 of Musica Britannica (William Byrd: Keyboard Music, edited by Alan Brown).
The 350th anniversary of the composer’s death marked the beginning of the preparation of a new edition, starting with volume 16 and incorporating the two recently re-edited volumes, 15 and 17. Preserving the practical aims and general outline of its predecessor, this new collection aims to present a fully critical text, based on a thorough re-appraisal of the sources, in accordance with the needs of present-day performers and scholars. Each volume includes an editor’s preface, and a full commentary upon the verbal and musical text. A number of works discovered since 1950 are printed, and a serious attempt has been made to come to terms with the question of authenticity surrounding many of the works recovered from manuscript sources.
Most Recent Volume: Volume 13 – April 2005
Series Complete – No further volumes due for publication.