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Track(s) taken from CDA66558

Fantasia, BK13

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

Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)
Recording details: February 1997
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, France
Produced by John Hayward-Warburton
Engineered by Ken Blair
Release date: June 2001
Total duration: 8 minutes 5 seconds

Other recordings available for download

Davitt Moroney (harpsichord)


'Here, now, is a clever selection featuring all six of his instruments including the captivating muselar. Essential listening' (BBC Music Magazine)

‘A good compilation, showcasing Moroney’s playing as well as the breadth and richness of Byrd’s output’ (Early Music Review)

‘If your library is in need of some early keyboard works then you need look no further. Without exception the performances are excellent. Highly recommended’ (www.musicteachers)
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

Other albums featuring this work

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