PARTHENIA is a collection of pieces for harpsichord and virginal composed by the three famous composers Byrd, Bull and Gibbons, printed in London in 1613 and dedicated to the marriage of Princess Elizabeth Stuart and Prince Frederick V of Palatine.
The Chilenian harpsichordist Catalina Vicens celebrates the 400-year anniversary of this unique edition of English renaissance keyboard music on her debut album. To make this already diverse collection even more colorful, she uses not less than six different instruments, 3 of which are 17th c. originals. Enjoy this delicate bouquet of early keyboard pieces played on virginals, harpsichords, spinettino and muselaar, just as the royal couple may have enjoyed it for relaxation and amusement in good company.
Booklet notes by Anthony Rooley
"Catalina Vicens plays brilliantly. Her lucid style of playing results in a great transparency which allows the listener to follow the various lines of the polyphony."
- Johan van Veen, Music Web International
CD of the Month, January 2014
"Her ability to maintain a basic metrical pulse, while still creating a sense of improvisation in her highly free treatment of running passages and her uninhibited way with ornamentation... is magical.
- Scott Noriega, Fanfare Magazine
"From the very first notes of Byrd's opening Preludium, it's clear that the young harpsichord player Catalina Vicens enjoys not only great empathy, but impressive mastery of Jacobean keyboard style...
Catalina Vicens plays with elegant style, deep insight and flawless technique."
- Stephen Midgley, amazon.co.uk official review
For audio clips of
Parthenia is available for download on
Buy on Carpe Diem Records,
Distributed worldwide by Naxos
Following instruments were used for this recording:
-Italian harpsichord, copy by H. Dupree, Seattle 1978, after anonymous instrument from the "Staatlichen Institut für Musikforschung Preußlicher Kulturbesitz Berlin"
Tracks I, II, III, VI, VIII
-Italian harpsichord (original), Florentine School. Inscription: Antonio Nobili in Roma fec 1695. Presumed to be from Cristofori's workshop ca. 1726.
Tracks IV, V, XV, XVI,
-Spinettino (original), unsigned, Napoli, 1st half of the 17th century.
Tracks VII, XIV
-Virginal (original), unisgned, Switzerland, 17th century.
Tracks IX, X, XI
-Double Virginal "Mother & Child", copy by John Koster, Boston 1974, after instrument by Hans Ruckers, Antwerpen 1591.
Tracks XII, XIII, XX
-Double manual harpsichord, copy by William Dowd, Paris 1975, after instrument by Andreas Ruckers, Antwerpen 1620.
Tracks XVII, XVIII, XIX
-Treble and bass viols by Sergi Casademunt, Barcelona, 2004, after 16th century models.
Tracks XIX, XX
Since 1974, the privately owned collection built up by Fritz Neumeyer (1900-1983), Rolf Junghanns (1945-1993) und Bradford Tracey (1951-1987) is housed in the Bad Krozingen Palace. Most of the instruments are – as a disctintive feature of the Bad Krozingen Collection – in playable conditions and utilisable in concerts. They are in fact the main element of the Bad Krozingen concert series, in which renowned musician bring the historical instruments to life.
About the Recording
or ‘The Maydenhead revisited’
(if you pardon the pun!)
Anthony Rooley explores the circumstances, the difficult times, and the high quality of music
found in this wonderful collection of English Keyboard Music – the first ever published in
England, dating from the early 17th century.
Most easy references reiterate that the first edition was published in 1611 (see
‘Wikipedia’, for example). This is restated in the 19th-century writings of Edward
F. Rimbault, even though all recent writers propose a date of 1612/13…
1613 it must be, for the entire edition is dedicated to the forthcoming marriage
of Elizabeth Stuart and Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine – their betrothal
was not confirmed until Spring of 1612 and then enacted 14th February,
1613 (Elizabeth’s mother, Queen Anne, preferred another partnership – but her
decision was overruled). ‘Parthenia’ must have been in the planning almost immediately
after the announcement of the betrothal, for many features are built
around this union...
Read the online CD Booklet
Notes by Anthony Rooley
ENGLISH/ GERMAN/ FRENCH
Thoughts on Parthenia
“When I acknowledge the distance that stands between me, my time, my origins and the
musical culture I am nostalgically trying to get closer to, I can contemplate more clearly the
paths I can chose. I love the interplay of imagination, dream, knowledge and infinity that
this work signifies. I love the countless paths that lie ahead of me”.- Catalina Vicens
Whilst making this recording, I underwent a beautiful process of research,
practice and reflection. In order to avoid overshadowing Anthony Rooley’s gracious
foreword with unnecessary words, I have decided to write them elsewhere.
Those who may want to know more of the decisions I made concerning choice
of instruments and my arrangments, or are willing to partake in this thought process, are welcome to read here.