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Pavin, BK76

composer
Forster (No 18). [Neighbour, ‘Pavan G8’ p 199]

 
This work survives slightly incomplete and without its galliard. It is a ‘16-bar’ pavan, its six sections running to 96 semibreves. The three strains start on the chords of G major, F major and C major, clearly stressing its G-Mixolydian nature. The varied repeat of the second strain is missing, so I have supplied it here. It is particularly interesting to listen to the pavan after hearing the second and seventh pavans of the Nevell sequence, both of which are also in G. The second Nevell pavan is a shorter work, built on an ‘8-bar’ scheme and its opening strain shares certain melodic and structural features with the present work, as if Byrd were working out the same idea but, by adopting the 16-bar format, allowing himself more breadth of scope. There is no place here for the strict canonic bass in double augmentation that is so striking a feature of the perfect opening strain of the second Nevell pavan. However, the first phrase in the soprano and alto is here in strict canon ‘two parts in one at the fifth below’ and the canonic writing is carefully maintained into the varied repeat, similar to the strict canon found in the seventh Nevell pavan. Curiously, in the present work this first strain seems rather stilted, perhaps as a result of the constraints of the canon, but as usual when Byrd deliberately limits himself, it is in order the more to free himself later. The harmonic language, the subtle contrasts and the rhythmic variety in the other strains all suggest that this work dates from no earlier than 1580.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Aucune gaillarde n’est connue pour cette pavane. Elle est “à seize”, ayant six sections et quatre-vingt-seize semi-brèves. Elle est incomplète car la reprise variée de la deuxième strophe manque ; j’ai donc comblé cette lacune ici. Il est particulièrement intéressant d’entendre cette pavane après avoir écouté les deuxième et septième du manuscrit Nevell, toutes deux en sol majeur aussi. La deuxième de Nevell est plus courte, étant “à huit”. La première strophe partage certaines idées mélodiques et structurales avec le BK76, comme si Byrd retravaillait ici avec les mêmes outils, mais en les adaptant au format “à seize” pour se permettre plus de largeur dans le discours. Mais il n’y a plus de place pour le canon strict à la basse (par double augmentation) qui laisse son empreinte si parfaite sur la seconde pavane Nevell. Ici, pourtant, la première phrase dans le soprano et l’alto est présentée en canon strict, “deux parties en une, à la quinte inférieure”, et l’écriture canonique est maintenue à la reprise variée, comme dans le canon de la septième pavane Nevell. Curieusement, dans le BK76, la première strophe est un peu guindée, peut-être à cause du canon, mais comme d’habitude Byrd se limite délibérément afin de se libérer plus tard. Le langage harmonique, les contrastes subtils et la variété rythmique dans les autres strophes indiquent que cette pavane ne daterait pas d’avant 1580.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999

Recordings

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

Details

Track 20 on CDS44461/7 CD5 [3'07] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

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