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Music, anyone?

From the Fitzwilliam Virginal BookThe Bells by William Byrd – late 16th century.

Composed for the virginals, but performed here on the cembalo (early harpsichord) – by all accounts this lady is supreme*, with amazing speed at the climax around 5:00 mins:

Imagine Oranges & Lemons calling across Tudor London, with dozens of bell towers ringing the changes … Nah, not really – it’s a nice idea, but the bells formed unique sets, which weren’t tuned to each other.

So Byrd created a brilliant Elizabethan fantasy: to entertain and be entertained. Sit back …

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* On reflection, here’s a tighter version by Andreas Staier (5:49) – excellent. [no longer available – google “andreas staier the bells”]

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