ROBERT FAYRFAX (1464 - 1521)
Robert Fayrfax enjoyed royal favour under Henry VIII as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. He was one of the most important English composers of his generation and has had the posthumous advantage that a number of his works have survived.
Fayrfax is in particular associated with the cyclic Mass (settings of the Mass in which related material appears in each section, generally based on a plainsong tenor). His settings of the Magnificat are of alternate verses, to be interspersed, according to common practice, by verses sung to plainchant.
Fayrfax wrote a number of part-songs, of which some seven survive.