Basically Bull / Feinberg

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"Feinberg translates the exquisite chromatic ruminations and intricate counterpoint of Bull's keyboard works, and some contemporaries, into the lush sound world of the modern piano. ... It is a mark of Mr. Feinberg's skill that playfulness, along with grace and exuberance, characterize his performances of these 400-year-old miniatures even though their technical demands are of a sort rarely encountered until the 20th century." – The New York Times

"John Bull, who met and was to exceed in productivity the Antwerp keyboard genius Jan Sweelinck, provides the focus of pianist Alan Feinberg’s excursions on this disc. Feinberg has taken a select group of diverse works and transcribed them to the demands of the modern Steinway, sensitive to the originals’ timbre and affect while preserving their often daring harmonic progressions. ...Excellent Steinway sound, courtesy of engineer Daniel Shores. " – Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition

"Usually Feinberg is heard championing the works of contemporary composers, but here he proves he has a deft hand at Renaissance music as he imparts an airy and expansive countenance to Bull's music. And because some of the works are getting their first outing on the modern keyboard, it is more than notable. There is something fetching about this Elizabethan music; it sounds contemporary, bratty and fresh." – Edward Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee


A pianist explores the uncharted territory of the 16th-century keyboard.

Of all the great English composers of this period, it is John Bull who stands out as the most maniacal keyboard virtuoso.

While others provided popular tunes and simple dances for the new instrument called the “virginal,” John Bull offered up experimental, challenging works, pieces that exuberantly overstepped conventional musical expectations. Fashioning a group of these works to function in concert and translating them to the wildly different timbre of the modern piano has been an exciting venture into the 16th- and 17th-century avant-garde. Bull’s music is brimming with invention and inspiration, power and passion. – Alan Feinberg

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: STNS30019

  • UPC: 034062300198

  • Label: Steinway & Sons

  • Composer: John Blitheman, John Bull, John Redford, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins, William Byrd

  • Performer: Alan Feinberg