Hyperion Records

The Mayden's Songe, BK82
composer
Nevell (No 28), FVB (No 126). [Neighbour, p 150]

Recordings
'Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music' (CDS44461/7)
Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music
Buy by post £33.00 CDS44461/7  7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Track 8 on CDS44461/7 CD4 [5'28] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

The Mayden's Songe, BK82
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A few of Byrd’s earlier sets of song variations are more strictly polyphony than others, more akin to his consort writing, and this work is a case in point. It suits the sustained tones of a chamber organ particularly well, although it would sound equally fine on almost any keyboard instrument, or even arranged for viols. The words of the original song are not known.

Byrd presents the opening with the simplicity of a folksong, with the first line unaccompanied, somewhat akin to the opening of the Walsingham variations. The 16-bar melody has four distinct phrases, in ABCC quatrain form, similar to the C major Corranto (BK45) and Wilson’s Wilde (BK37). It is always clearly audible throughout the eight variations. The lyrical quality of the original melody imparts its character to all of Byrd’s counterpoints, especially the fine descant added over the last variation. The work certainly predates 1591, being in Nevell, but is probably from the 1570s or even as early as the 1560s. (An earlier keyboard setting of the same tune, much shorter and simpler, is found in the Mulliner Book.)

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA66551/7 disc 4 track 8
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-55408
Duration
5'28
Recording date
31 March 1992
Recording venue
Ingatestone Hall, Ingatestone, Essex, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Edward Kershaw
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch
Hyperion usage
  1. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDA66551/7)
    Disc 4 Track 8
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 4 Track 8
    Release date: September 2010
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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