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Pavan and Galliard 'The Earle of Salisbury', BK15

Parthenia (Nos VI, VII, VIII). [Neighbour, ‘Pavan & Galliards a2’ p 218]

Sir Robert Cecil was born in about 1563 and died on 24 May 1612. He was knighted in 1591 by Queen Elizabeth and created Earl of Salisbury in 1605 by James I. (Elizabeth called him her ‘little elf’; James called him his ‘little beagle’.) Morley dedicated his First Booke of Balletts (1595) to him, as did Robert Jones his First set of Madrigals (1609) and Dowland his translation of Ornithoparcus’s Micrologus.

These three works by Byrd and Orlando Gibbons’s equally famous The Lord of Salisbury, his Pavin and its accompanying Galiardo (both also in A-minor Aeolian mode) were published in Parthenia (1612/13) a few months after Cecil’s death. The works may have been written close to that year, and would thus date from the end of Byrd’s life, when he was about seventy. The pavan in particular has been popular even as a piano piece from the middle of the nineteenth century up until Glenn Gould. Its popularity was also helped by a sensitive arrangement for strings in Sir John Barbirolli’s Elizabethan Suite.

Surprisingly for such a serious work, this is only an ‘8-bar’ pavan. Even more unusually, it and the first galliard have only two strains rather than the normal three. Most strange of all, for these three works Byrd did not provide the varied repeats found with all his other pavans and galliards. The pavan runs to a total of only 16 semibreves in all (although if one adds the repeats this becomes 32). Since the works were published in London during his lifetime, I have refrained from adding too much elaborate variation in the repeats since the composer presumably did not wish it here.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Sir Robert Cecil est né vers 1563 et meurt le 24 mai 1612. Il est nommé Chevalier en 1591 par Élisabeth Ire, et comte de Salisbury en 1605 par Jacques I. (Élisabeth l’appelle son “petit lutin” ; Jacques le nomme son “petit briquet”.) Morley lui a dédié son First Booke of Balletts (1595), Robert Jones son First set of Madrigals (1609) et Dowland sa traduction du Micrologus d’Ornithoparcus.

Ces trois célèbres œuvres de Byrd, ainsi que deux pièces presque aussi connues d’Orlando Gibbons (The Lord of Salisbury, his Pavin et sa Galiardo, également en la mineur, mode éolien), ont été publiées dans Parthenia (1612/13) seulement quelques mois après la mort de Cecil. Elles ont dû être composées juste avant cette date, vers la fin de la vie de Byrd, quand il avait soixante-dix ans. La pavane, en particulier, a été très populaire parmi les pianistes, depuis le milieu du XIXe siècle jusqu’à Glenn Gould. Sa popularité est également due, en partie, à l’arrangement pour cordes de Sir John Barbirolli (An Elisabethan Suite.)

Chose étrange pour une pièce aussi sérieuse, la pavane est “à huit” seulement. Plus surprenant, la pavane et la première gaillarde n’ont que deux strophes (chacune répétée), et non trois. Et plus étonnant encore, Byrd n’a pas fourni pour ces trois pièces les reprises variées trouvées dans toutes ses autres pavanes et gaillardes. La pavane ne dure que seize semi-brèves en tout (ou trente-deux, si on ajoute des reprises). Puisque ces pièces ont été publiées à Londres du vivant du compositeur, je me suis retenu d’ajouter trop d’ornementation dans les reprises, car on peut supposer que Byrd ne l’a pas voulu ici.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999


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Track 3 on CDA66067 [3'03] Archive Service
Movement 1: Pavana
Track 15 on CDS44461/7 CD2 [1'43] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Movement 2: Galiardo
Track 16 on CDS44461/7 CD2 [1'09] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Movement 3: Galiardo Secondo
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