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Fantasia, BK13

composer
Tomkins (No 8), FVB (No 52). [Neighbour, p 235]

 
It is hard for us to imagine how listeners in the 1560s must have reacted to the astonishing originality and verve found in this fantasia. No work like it is known among the repertoire of the period, by any composer, in any country. This is often one of the first Byrd works that modern musicians play, and it remains a favourite in concert programmes. It may be noted that at bar 82 it incorporates an identifiable popular tune (whose name, unfortunately is not known). It occurs in the manuscript BL Add. 60577, copied no later than 1563 (see Musica Britannica volume LXVI, No 54).

What an extraordinary span there is from the early Miserere, or this brilliant youthful fancy, to the D minor fancy (BK46); from the C minor pavan BK29a, ‘the first that ever hee made’, to the playfully polyphonic concision of the Eccho pavan and galliard (BK114); from the Gypseis Round (BK80) to the entirely new keyboard textures of the O mistress mine, I must variations (BK83); and from the irrepressible Horne Pipe to the quite different mastery of length in the unique Quadran pavan and galliard (BK70a)!

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Il nous est difficile d’imaginer maintenant comment les auditeurs en 1560 ont pu réagir à l’éclosion d’originalité et de vitalité trouvée dans cette fantaisie. Aucune pièce comparable n’existe dans le répertoire européen de l’époque, tous pays confondus. Cette fantaisie est souvent parmi les premières pièces de Byrd jouées par des musiciens de nos jours, et elle est populaire dans les concerts. On peut noter que, à la mesure 82, Byrd incorpore une citation d’une chanson de l’époque, identifiable (mais dont le nom n’est pas connu, hélas !). Elle figure dans le manuscrit BL Add. 60577, copié avant 1563 (voir Musica Britannica, volume LXVI, n°. 54).

Quel énorme parcours de compositeur entre le petit Miserere ou cette brillante fantaisie de jeunesse, et la maturité de la Fancy en ré mineur (BK46) ; entre la pavane en ut mineur BK29a, “la première qu’il ait jamais faite”, et la polyphonie joyeusement économe de la pavane et la gaillarde Eccho (BK114) ; entre le Gypseis Round (BK80) et les textures novatrices des variations sur O mistress mine, I must, (BK83) ; entre la “gaieté inextinguible” du Horne Pipe et l’extraordinaire paire de pièces sur le Quadran (BK70a) !

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 23 on CDS44461/7 CD7 [8'05] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Track 10 on CDA66558 [8'05] Deleted

Track-specific metadata for CDS44461/7 disc 7 track 23

Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-98-55723
Duration
8'05
Recording date
14 February 1997
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 7 Track 23
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 7 Track 23
    Release date: September 2010
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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