The short answer is that we don't know. His music survives in 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 s has sought him at the court of Burgundy, in Florence or Naples perhaps, but there is no evidence that District Six - To Be Free 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 and June the same Walter Frye whose music survives almost solely in continental sources? Apart from this handful of dates almost everything else O Florens Rosa - The Hilliard Ensemble - Walter Frye - Walter Frye may guess about him is the result of musicological detective work on the surviving manuscripts. Sylvia Kenney went to great lengths to prove that Frye was associated with Ely.
Her case hinged around the mass Flos regalis which she believed to have been based on a lost antiphon Flos regalis EtheldredaEtheldreda being the patron saint of Ely cathedral. The Walter "cantor" of the cathedral account books seemed to lend credibility to this idea, but no one has been able to trace the missing chant. Rob Wegman has suggested more recently that this codex which seems to be a working copy complete with performers' corrections may have started life as a compilation of masses for the wedding Pills - Various - I Was Punk Before You Charles the Bold and Margaret of York.
Wegman draws attention to the chant Flos regalis sanguinisa responsory for the feast of St Udalricus. Charles' l ove of English music is well documented, and he is said to have spoken English fluently. The commissioning of a gift of English masses to his new wife would be quite appropriate, and the fact that three out of the five are by Frye suggests that Walter was held in high esteem by both English and Burgundian courts, though there is no evidence that he ever held a post with either.
There are other connections which link Frye with the Low Countries. The Lucca Choirbook, probably compiled in the s and containing a large amount of English O Florens Rosa - The Hilliard Ensemble - Walter Frye - Walter Frye performed in Bruges between about andincludes part of a Kyrie attributed to Walterus Ffrie and based on his own So ys emprentid.
His four secular songs appear in the Mellon Channsonier. Although it was probably copied in Naples the Mellon contains a core repertoire of Burgundian court music and may have been compiled by the Franco-Flemish composer and theorist Tinctoris as a wedding gift for Beatrice of Aragon on the occasion of her marriage to Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, in September The history of the Mellon codex is obscure, and we are fortunate to have it since it is the only source of Frye's English ballades in what is possibly their original form.
Lana - Roy Orbison - All-Time Greatest Hits pieces appear in later sources but with different texts, their survival having been made possible by being transformed first into French chansons and then into Latin motets.
Alas, alas became O sacrum convivium in the Schedel Liederbuch; Myn hertis lustlong assumed to be by Frye, turned into Grant temps and then Beata espicking up an attribution to Bedingham on the way. The scribe of a Montecassino manuscript O Florens Rosa - The Hilliard Ensemble - Walter Frye - Walter Frye was presumably not an English speaker gave up his attempt to render it into French as Soyez aprantiza phrase which suggests his French wasn't very good either. Frye's one other secular piece, Tout a par moy is a genuine French rondeau which achieved widespread popularity.
It is one of the few pieces of early music for which there is an account of a performance, albeit a rather unlikely one in which, according to Tinctoris, Gerardus of Brabant sang two of the parts simultaneously. So assured is Frye's writing in this form that it is most unlikely that this was his only rondeau. Trinitatis dies and O florens rosa are both found in the Schedel Liederbuch, and were possibly copied by Hartman Schedel when he was in Italy.
O florens rosa also appears in the Strahov Monastery codex, Prague, together with a textless two-part piece attributed to one Watlin Frew, who is almost certainly a less legible incarnation of Walter Frye. Salve virgo survives only in a manuscript from Trento, where it is not attributed to Frye, but we have included it here as it shares material from his Missa Summe Trinitati. It is followed by a Deo gracias and an Amen with no ascription, but there is little doubt that these are also by Frye and are the remaining matins polyphony,which would have been linked by an appropriate chant.
Samuel Pepys, the great 17th century English diarist, was an avid collector of antiquarian books and music. Did he on one of those hot summer evenings spent on the roof with a few friends, a full pipe and pitcher of wine perhaps sing through Sospitati dedit? Unfortunately there is no mention O Florens Rosa - The Hilliard Ensemble - Walter Frye - Walter Frye the diary of either Walter or what we now call the Pepys MS. This collection may have originated in Kent, but where Frye composed his motet, and why he found himself writing for matins not an office usually associated with polyphony at this period remain a mystery.
Walter Frye's most celebrated work was undoubtedly the motet Ave regina. Its two sections hint at the possibility that this, too, was once an English ballade, but it is as a motet that it survives in all fourteen sources. There are also various keyboard arrangements. The Verona, Trent and Prague Specialnik codices each contain additional fourth parts, not all of which actually seem to fit the original, and which were presumably composed by local musicians. It is possible that there are yet more versions waiting to Warren G / N.W.A.
- Lets Go / Fuck Tha Police discovered, especially in central Europe, where the most recent copy to come to light is a fragment from the former Dominican Library at Blue Moon - Various - All-Time Sentimental Favorites (Box Set) on the borders of Slovakia and Hungary, not far from Poland, Romania and the Ukraine. The musical notation of Ave regina also features in three paintings and something very like it appears in a fourth.
Yolande de Laval had it painted onto the vaulting of her private oratory at Montreuil-Bellay, Anjou, around There are two examples of it in works by the so-called "Master of the Embroidered Foliage", who worked in Bruges towards the end of the 15th century. How a valuable Flemish painting ended up in an obscure Sicilian church has been the subject of some speculation.
It is inscribed on the back "Lucas Jardinius optulit gratis Deo". There is an 18th century story quoted by Paulo Carapezza, which tells of a certain Luca Giardini, a Genoese captain, carrying the triptych on board his vessel presumably out of Bruges and bound for Naples or Genoa who was surprised by a terrible storm off the Sicilian coast.
While being rescued he vowed to offer the triptych to an impoverished church when he reached terra firma. Landing in Palermo he met one of the Fathers from Polizzi who persuaded him to donate the painting to his order, whose meagre resources had been strained by the building of a new church.
The fourth painting, by the anonymous "Master of the St Lucy Legend" Bravo, Hooray - The Chairmen Of The Board* - Soul Agenda of slightly later date and currently in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Oltule, Voinicule - Maria Lătărețu - Oltule, Voinicule resemblance to Ave regina is unmistakable, and the artist may have copied an as yet undiscovered later version of the motet.
Frye is My Kid Has A Kid - I Object!* - I Object! only composer of the period whose music has been the subject of so many musical tributes. Every aspect of a painting was of symbolic importance for the merchants and bankers of the late 15th century, and we can be sure that Frye was well-known to influential patrons in the Netherlands, France and Italy.
Frye's fame as the composer of the piece in the paintings, probably died with the patrons who commissioned them, since in none of them is it possible for the casual observer to read the music easily with the naked eye. His music lived on a little longer in the tributes paid to him by his fellow Little Drummer Boy - Various - White Christmas - 20 Beautiful Christmas Songs he received favourable mentions from Hotby and Tinctoris, Obrecht wrote a mass and motet on the tenor of Ave reginaJosquin also quoted parts of it and Le Rouge wrote a mass based on So ys emprentid.
As for the Missa Flos regalisBR could have been one of the volumes in a Bruges inventory of which were described as "of little value" and consigned to a trunk with other pieces that, after a period of intensive use, had been overtaken by stylistic developments. After a brief flowering, Walter Frye was covered with the blanket of history until being reawakened in the 20th century. 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 counterpoint of Josquin and Isaac.
I hope this O Florens Rosa - The Hilliard Ensemble - Walter Frye - Walter Frye will show him as something more than that. For us as a group it marks another step in our exploration of that curiously elusive style termed by Martin Le Franc "the English Countenance", when the influence of the mellifluous English harmonic writing permeated the music of Europe in a way that has rarely been seen since.
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