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Track(s) taken from CDS44461/7

Alman, BK11

FVB (No 163). [Neighbour, ‘Alman g2’ p 169]

Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)
Recording details: December 1996
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, France
Produced by John Hayward-Warburton
Engineered by Ken Blair
Release date: September 1999
Total duration: 1 minutes 22 seconds

Cover artwork: Phoenix. A glass window specially designed, made and photographed by Malcolm Crowthers.

The opening of this work is based loosely on the traditional Romanesca bass, but the work is in Dorian G minor. The usual two strains of an alman are each presented with their simple varied repeats, making four short sections. In each of these, the left hand does little more than strum an accompaniment in a relatively unsubtle Italianate style so perhaps Byrd was only harmonising a pre-existent tune. The whole structure is then repeated again with more elaborate variation, including more left-hand activity and rapid right-hand scales; Byrd here more clearly appropriates the opening material and makes it fully his own. It is difficult to establish a dating for the piece, which could have been composed any time between 1570 and 1600, probably in around 1580.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Le début de cette œuvre est librement basé sur la basse traditionnelle Romanesca, mais elle est en sol mineur (dorien transposé). Les deux strophes habituelles d’une alman ont ici chacune leur reprise variée, ce qui fait quatre parties en tout. Dans chacun de ces paragraphes musicaux, la main gauche fait très peu de choses, à part jouer un accompagnement d’accords dans un style italien, sans grande subtilité. Il est donc probable que Byrd n’ait fait ici qu’ajouter une simple harmonisation à une mélodie empruntée. Mais toute la structure est ensuite répétée, cette fois avec de nouvelles variantes et embellissements, avec nettement plus d’activité pour la main gauche et de grandes gammes pour la main droite. Byrd s’approprie le matériel ainsi, le transformant à sa façon. Il est difficile de dater l’œuvre ; elle a pu être composée entre 1570 et 1600, probablement vers 1580.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999

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