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Robert Fayrfax

(1464 - 1521)

Fayrfax was the leading English composer of the beginning of the sixteenth century, and the most significant figure between the generation of the Eton Choirbook and that of John Taverner. Though Fayrfax was a younger contemporary of the Eton Choirbook composers, his music is not well-represented until later sources. This suggests that he did most of his composing later in his life, and his style also suggests a mature hand. Fayrfax's music still belongs to the florid repertory of elaborate, free counterpoint, but his is highly polished, with easily flowing lines and carefully balanced forms. His surviving music is entirely vocal, consisting of several each of masses, antiphons, and English secular songs. ~ Todd McComb (6/94)

Recommended Recordings

Sacred Music

AS&V Gaudeamus 353
The Five Masses/Academy Sound & Vision Gaudeamus CDGAX353
David Skinner/Andrew Carwood/The Cardinall's Musick