The Hilliard Ensemble: Walter Frye O Florens Rosa

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Walter Frye(?-1474?) O Florens Rosa
The Hilliard Ensemble

«Who was Walter Frye? The short answer is that we don't know. His music survives i manuscripts all over Europe from Prague to Palermo, but of Frye the man there is almost no trace. A succession of musicologists since the pioneering work of Sylvia Kenney in the 1960s has sought him at the court of Burgundy, in Florence or Naples perhaps, but there is no evidence that he ever left England. Nor is there much evidence of him in England. Was the Walter Frye who was perhaps living near Chertsey when he died sometime between August 1474 and June 1475 the same Walter Frye whose music survives almost solely in continental sources? Did the Walter "cantor" who figures in the Ely Cathedral records in 1443 and again in 1452 subsequently join the London Guild of Parish Clerks in 1456 as Walter Frye? Apart from this handful of dates almost everything else we may guess about him is the result of musicological detective work on the surviving manuscripts.
[...] Frye is sometimes seen by musicologists as a late 15th century transitional composer stylistically somewhere between the medieval austerity of Dunstable and the more developed couterpoint of Josquin and Isaac.»

-John Potter