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Hyperion Records

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Phoenix. A glass window specially designed, made and photographed by Malcolm Crowthers.
Track(s) taken from CDS44461/7
Recording details: February 1997
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, France
Produced by John Hayward-Warburton
Engineered by Ken Blair
Release date: September 1999
Total duration: 4 minutes 18 seconds

A Grounde, BK9
composer
Forster (No 47). [Neighbour, ‘Short Ground in G minor’ p 120]

A Grounde BK9  [4'18]

Other recordings available for download
Davitt Moroney (organ)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
This is the second of Byrd’s three ‘short’ grounds, based on a little 4-bar repeating bass pattern. The other two are BK43 and BK86. They are clearly all early works, probably dating from the 1560s.

It is particularly interesting to hear how the closing section acquires breadth and sonorous weight on the organ, whereas on the harpsichord the less sustained notes give the same passage the character of a decrescendo. (The same effect occurs at the end of the Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la and several other pieces.) The organ makes the melodies, imitations and dissonances sing out beautifully, but the harpsichord gives greater clarity to the rapid left-hand runs. My first instinct, having recorded both, was to leave only the harpsichord version on this complete recording; yet the organ’s sustained notes and eloquent gravity certainly add a quality that cannot be achieved on the plucked strings of the harpsichord. Debussy specifically wished his Nocturnes to sound ‘flou’ (unclear); similarly, waves of slightly imprecise organ sound in a large building can be moving. Yet modern technology usually only offers our ears an absolutely clear and clean sound, as if this were the only way the music should speak to us...

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

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