Fitzwilliam’s Fellow in Music, Francis Knights, has just produced a major new music edition, in collaboration with co-editor Jon Baxendale in Norway.
The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book is the largest and most important keyboard music manuscript of the period, and has been in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum since its founding in 1816. It was probably copied in around 1615 by Francis Tregian, and contains a collection of the finest ‘virginal’ (harpsichord, virginals or clavichord) music from the second half of the 16th onwards, including virtuoso pieces by Byrd, Bull, Tallis and Farnaby. The 1290-page, three-volume edition took more than a year’s work, and this is the first new edition since 1899, incorporating all the latest scholarship. The 297 pieces are complemented by 70,000 words of introduction and commentary, and the edition is available from Lyrebird Music.