I had a listen to your recording, I think you played quite nicely. I haven't of Byrd, but this type of music brought to my mind a festive occasion where (and when) many cuts of mutton and glasses of mead would be served at a round table
I imagine Byrd prefigured the enlightenment as "Lord Willobies," seems to be from a time when the divine right of kings was indeed a divine right!
Thank you, Riley. In 1591, Elizabeth I was on the throne of England. It was an age of culture and exploration, more than of science--as you rightly say, the Enlightenment had yet to get going. It would be a good 50 years before Isaac Newton was born (and nearly a century before Bach). The Tudors ruled not so much by divine right as by right of being the last men standing after the Wars of the Roses, but Elizabeth was a moderate ruler; she acknowledged that she ruled with the consent of the people and her own advisers. Byrd himself, although a Catholic, was allowed to live in peace and, for the most part, to indulge his muse. I'm sure the Queen was perceptive enough to recognise him as a national treasure and no threat to the regime. The Elizabethan era is still regarded as something of a golden age for England. Unfortunately, the Stuarts who followed her were not so enlightened, which caused them a spot of trouble--by which I mean civil war, a decade of Republican rule and their eventual replacement by the House of Orange. The divine right of kings really went out with Henry VIII. But I think that's enough history lesson ...
The ornaments sound quite tricky, requiring a certain nimbleness in the fingers and your recording here seems to prove that you have that skill! For criticism I did hear the pedal noise but I don't think it spoiled the performance, and regarding the sound, I think it sounds better than most. The sound is intimate and I feel like I can hear details such as the felt hammers hitting the strings. I have trouble getting this type of sound but usually I record either in a highly reflective practice room or a very spacey choir room..
I am fortunate in that I have always had a natural facility for ornaments. (But as I said, I didn't try to get all the marked ornaments in!) For this recording, I had the front off the piano and the mic recording direct off the strings. The studio is just our living room, and the piano is against the wall, so if I leave the piano together and record from out in the room as it comes I don't get a very good sound. I might have had the mic a bit too close in this instance, hence the loud damper noise at the end. But an intimate sound, as you say, is better suited to early music, which doesn't really want a big concert-hall effect.
Thank you for commenting and I am glad you enjoyed the piece!