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Parson's In nomine, BK51

composer
Forster (No 48), FVB (No 140) [Neighbour, p 165]
composer

 
The original version of this piece in D minor (untransposed Dorian mode) was composed for 5-part consort by Robert Parsons. This In nomine was one of his most famous consort works. Parsons was a prolific composer who may have had contact with the young Byrd. His death (he drowned in the river Trent at Newark on 25 January 1571/2) also created the opening which allowed Byrd to be sworne in as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. Only Forster names Byrd as the author of this keyboard version but the attribution is plausible since one of Byrd’s 5-part consort In nomine settings seems to be a homage to the same Parsons work. Byrd’s contribution to the piece is nevertheless small, apart from a couple of right-hand flourishes at important cadences. The arrangement probably dates from the period when Parsons was still alive and the young Byrd was still interested in cantus firmus technique, probably no later than the mid-1560s.

The name In Nomine is derived from the ‘Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini’ of John Taverner’s Mass based on the plainsong Gloria tibi trinitas. The cantus firmus of all In Nomine settings is thus that same plainsong, and can be heard here in the alto part in long held notes (the first two notes of the piece are the first two notes of the plainsong cantus firmus). The complete plainsong may be heard, treated in the complementary cantus fractus technique in Byrd’s own Gloria tibi trinitas setting.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

La version originale de cette pièce en ré mineur (mode dorien, non transposé) a été composée pour consort de violes à cinq voix par Robert Parsons. Cet In nomine était l’une de ses pièces les plus connues. Parsons a eu une influence sur le jeune Byrd ; sa mort (il s’est noyé dans la rivière Trent le 25 janvier 1571/2) a aussi rendu possible la nomination de Byrd à la Chapelle royale. Seul Forster nomme Byrd comme l’auteur de cette version pour clavier, mais l’attribution est plausible car l’un des In nomine de Byrd pour consort à cinq voix semble être un hommage à cette même œuvre de Parsons. Ici la contribution de Byrd est mince, mis à part quelques fioritures à la main droite, juste avant les cadences importantes. L’arrangement date probablement de la période où Parsons était encore en vie et où le jeune Byrd s’intéressait toujours à la technique de cantus firmus, sans doute avant 1565.

Le titre In Nomine est dérivé du “Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini” de la messe de John Taverner sur le plain-chant Gloria tibi trinitas. Le cantus firmus de tous les In Nomine est ainsi ce même plain-chant, et peut être entendu ici à l’alto, en notes longues (les deux premières notes de la pièce sont les deux premières du cantus firmus). Le plain-chant complet peut s’entendre, traité dans la technique complémentaire de cantus fractus, à la main gauche du Gloria tibi trinitas de Byrd.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999

Recordings

Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music
CDS44461/77CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Details

Track 11 on CDS44461/7 CD1 [2'51] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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