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Track(s) taken from CDS44461/7

Fantasia, BK63

composer
FVB (No 8). [Neighbour, ‘Fantasia G3’ p 242]

Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)
Recording details: March 1992
Ingatestone Hall, Ingatestone, Essex, United Kingdom
Produced by Edward Kershaw
Engineered by Mike Hatch
Release date: September 1999
Total duration: 4 minutes 32 seconds

Cover artwork: Phoenix. A glass window specially designed, made and photographed by Malcolm Crowthers.
 
1
Fantasia BK63  [4'32]

The first thirty bars are a sort of introduction, calmly imitative, like a prelude; they serve as an intonazione to set the tone (Mixolydian G major). There follows a passage recalling (or rather anticipating) polychoral imitation; a passage is heard first played by the high ‘choir,’ then an octave lower. Another high passage (a duet) is heard, imitated an octave lower, then extended throughout the whole texture, leading to an involved polyphonic discussion. Less serious discourse then leads through a more virtuoso section to a dance, first presented with complicated cross rhythms. Particularly characteristic of this work, which probably dates from the 1570s, is the technique of decorated repetition, applied to various paragraphs of music. Ever unwilling to repeat himself literally, Byrd always enriches any material he repeats. In the final paragraph, the piece unwinds to a calm repose.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Les trente premières mesures, calmes et imitatives, servent d’introduction, comme une sorte de prélude ou d’intonazione qui donne le ton (en l’occurence, sol majeur, mixolydien). Le passage qui suit anticipe l’imitation polychorale des Vénitiens. Une phrase entonnée par le chœur “haut” est reprise une octave plus bas par le chœur “grave”. Un duo aigu s’ensuit, imité une octave plus bas, puis développé sur tout le clavier. Une sorte de débat polyphonique s’enchaîne ensuite avec un discours moins sérieux, plus brillant. Celui-ci cède la place à la danse, dont les rythmes compliqués sont particulièrement intéressants. Dans cette œuvre, qui date probablement des années 1570, l’utilisation du principe de la reprise variée à l’intérieur d’une fantaisie libre est très caractéristique. Réprouvant depuis sa jeunesse l’idée de se répéter de façon littérale, Byrd enrichit toujours toutes les phrases qu’il reprend. A la toute fin, toute l’énergie se dissipe dans un beau decrescendo.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999

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