Ensemble Pro Victoria – debut recording of Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521)
Joint-winners of LIFEM's 2020 Young Ensemble Competition, Ensemble Pro Victoria, release their debut CD this year on Scotland’s Delphian Records. Artistic Director Toby Ward tells us more.
Thanks to the great exposure and stamp of quality we received from the superbly put-together 2020 LIFEM digital festival, we were delighted to be signed by Delphian Records from 2021 for recordings of early music. We feel very lucky that our first recording is a genuine first: great sacred and secular works by Tudor master Robert Fayrfax, in his 500th year, most of which have never been recorded before. Of particular interest is music from Henry VIII’s first wedding, which survived through the years in lute tablature after being pushed underground by the reformation. Paired with this and other sacred gems are his seven surviving courtly songs, featuring extraordinary word painting and glorious early English poetry. With the great assistance of Professor Magnus Williamson of Newcastle University this music has been brought back to life despite the past year we’ve all endured, featuring the celebrated lutenist Toby Carr.
However, as always, these recordings are very expensive and as a young group of freelancers, we cannot afford to cover the costs by ourselves. We have a crowdfunding page, www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fayrfax500, where pre-orders of this magnificent music can be placed. If you’d prefer to simply order a disk on release, we’d love to hear from you direct! Do visit www.ensembleprovictoria.com to send us a message, pre-order a CD, and find out more about our future projects, including our return to LIFEM in 2021 with fabulous baroque repertoire!