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The second pavian and galliarde, BK71

composer
Weelkes (Nos 5, 6), Nevell (Nos 12, 13), Forster (Nos 16, 43), FVB (Nos 257, 258). [Neighbour, ‘Pavan & Galliard G2’ p 192]

 
By contrast with the spacious first pavan in a dark minor key, the second one is a short ‘8-bar’ work, in Mixolydian G major (untransposed), its six sections running to only 48 semibreves. The opening 8-bar phrase is one of Byrd’s most perfect, concentrated paragraphs. Written in 4-part counterpoint, the soprano, alto and tenor discuss a little 6-note melodic phrase, each presenting its own slightly different rhythmic version. This whole discussion takes place over a double augmentation, in the bass, of exactly this same motive in long notes: G, D, B, C, D, G. The melodic cell thus provides both the harmonic and the melodic material for the paragraph of music; or, put in another way, the imitative polyphonic discussion on the theme is harmonised by the theme itself (a procedure Bach would no doubt have appreciated).

The rhythmic variety in the galliard is unique. The rather stolid first strain deliberately prepares the way for the jolting cross-rhythms and wild triplets in the second strain, and for the displaced strong beats in the third. These are just the sort of rhythmic games Byrd enjoyed playing in his youthful works.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

A la différence de la première pavane, en mineur, sombre et longue, la deuxième est en majeur (sol mixolydien, non transposé), plus ensoleillée, et courte (étant “à huit”, les six sections durent ainsi quarante-huit semi-brèves). La première strophe de huit mesures est parmi les plus parfaites et concentrées que Byrd ait jamais composées. Ecrite en contrepoint à quatre voix, le soprano, l’alto et le ténor dialoguent sur une petite phrase mélodique de six notes, mais chaque voix présente sa propre version, légèrement différente des autres. Leur débat a lieu au dessus d’une double augmentation de ce même motif, à la basse, qui énonce ainsi les notes de la cellule : sol, ré, si, ut, ré, sol. La cellule mélodique fournit ainsi à la fois le matériel mélodique et l’harmonie du paragraphe ; ou, autrement dit, l’élaboration polyphonique du thème est harmonisée par ce même thème (un procédé que Bach n’aurait pas renié).

La variété rythmique dans la gaillarde est unique. La première strophe est d’un caractère ferme, comme pour mieux préparer les rythmes déchaînés de la deuxième strophe et les syncopes de la troisième. Il s’agit exactement du genre de “jeux” qu’aimait Byrd dans ses œuvres de jeunesse.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999

Recordings

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

Details

Movement 1: Pavian
Track 5 on CDS44461/7 CD6 [2'57] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Galliarde
Track 6 on CDS44461/7 CD6 [1'45] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Track-specific metadata for CDS44461/7 disc 6 track 6

Galliarde
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-55606
Duration
1'45
Recording date
18 December 1996
Recording venue
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, France
Recording producer
John Hayward-Warburton
Recording engineer
Ken Blair
Hyperion usage
  1. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDA66551/7)
    Disc 6 Track 6
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 6 Track 6
    Release date: September 2010
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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