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The seventh pavian, Canon 2 parts in 1, BK74

composer
Nevell (No 22). [Neighbour, ‘Pavan G6’ p 187]

 
One of Byrd’s systematically canonic work for keyboard is the Lesson of voluntarie, two parts in one in the 4th above (BK26); it uses essentially the same canonic technique (since the interval of a ‘4th above’ is structurally the same as the ‘5th below’ used here). That work was through-composed, being a voluntary, or fantasia. The canon is present in strict form in the three principal phrases; in each of these, following the soprano entry, the alto part enters a fifth lower, after four minim beats. In the three varied repeats, the canon’s shadow continues to control all the imitations, but Byrd freely allows it to be hidden at the beginning and end of phrases by ornamental figuration in the top part.

The third strain starts on the chord of F major, emphasizing the Mixolydian mode. For some reason there appears to be no galliard associated with this or the next work. Being a ‘16-bar’ pavan, running to 96 semibreves, Byrd cannot have intended any association with the unattached galliard in the same Mixolydian G major (BK77). In any case, the absence of a galliard in the authoritative Nevell source would virtually forbid our linking one with it. This pavan is one of Byrd’s most concentrated and demanding works, with a particularly rich harmonic language and an unusually plangent treatment of dissonance.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Une des seules œuvres pour clavier qui utilise un canon de façon systématique est la Lesson of voluntarie, two parts in one in the 4th above (BK26). La technique y est exactement la même, car harmoniquement l’intervalle d’une “quarte en haut” équivaut à celle d’une “quinte en bas”, utilisée ici. La Lesson est une fantaisie où le canon est omniprésent. Ici, il est composé de façon stricte pendant chacune des trois strophes principales. C’est-à-dire que chaque phrase du soprano est entendue à nouveau, après quatre blanches et une quinte plus bas, à l’alto. Dans les reprises variées, l’ombre du canon continue à contrôler toutes les imitations, mais au début de chaque reprise, Byrd se permet de le cacher sous une figure ornementale dans le dessus.

La troisième strophe commence sur l’accord de fa majeur, pour souligner le mode mixolydien. Pour une raison inconnue, il n’y a pas de gaillarde. Puisqu’il s’agit d’une pavane “à seize”, avec six sections et quatre-vingt-seize semi-brèves, Byrd n’a pas pu vouloir la mettre en paire avec la gaillarde solitaire en sol majeur (BK77), qui n’est qu’“à quatre”. En tous les cas, l’absence de gaillarde dans Nevell, une source de si grande autorité, interdirait d’en ajouter une. Cette pavane est parmi les plus concentrées et les plus ardues de Byrd. Son langage harmonique est unique, avec des dissonances particulièrement retentissantes.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999

Recordings

Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music
CDS44461/77CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Byrd: Keyboard Music
CDA66558Deleted

Details

Track 15 on CDS44461/7 CD6 [4'49] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 15 on CDA66558 [4'49] Deleted

Track-specific metadata for CDS44461/7 disc 6 track 15

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-55615
Duration
4'49
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 15
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 6 Track 15
    Release date: September 2010
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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