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A Grounde, BK43

Forster (No 46). [Neighbour, ‘Short Ground in C major’ p 120]

This is the first of Byrd’s three ‘short’ grounds, based on a little 4-bar repeating bass pattern (here heard alone at the start). The other two are BK9 and BK86. They are clearly all early works, probably dating from the 1560s. Despite the shortness of the 4-bar ground (in the C major Ionian mode), Byrd’s paragraphs are, as always, built in phrases that are much larger than the short ground itself. The first one, for example, covers more than eight statements of the bass.

The Regal stop (used here) was often found on small organs in sixteenth-century England. Several such instruments were listed on the inventory of Henry VIII’s instruments in 1547, for example the ‘faire Instrument being Regalles and Virgynalles’ that was in the ‘Kinges privey Chambre’. Such instruments were sometimes described as having a ‘stoppe of timbre pipes’. The instrument continued to be popular throughout the sixteenth century. William Treasorer, for example, was ‘Regall maker’ to both Edward VI and Elizabeth I.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Voici le premier des trois grounds de Byrd basés sur un court motif à la basse, de seulement quatre mesures ; on peut l’entendre seul au début de cette pièce. Les deux autres sont BK9 et BK86. Ces trois compositions sont visiblement des pièces de jeunesse et datent sans doute des années 1560. La brièveté du ground, en ut majeur (mode ionien) n’empêche pas Byrd de construire de grands paragraphes, dont les phrases individuelles sont nettement plus larges que le ground. Le premier paragraphe, par exemple, couvre plus de huit énoncés de la basse.

Le jeu de régale, utilisé ici, se trouvait souvent sur les petits orgues anglais du XVIe siècle. Plusieurs sont répertoriés dans l’inventaire des instruments d’Henry VIII à sa mort, en 1547, par exemple le “bel Instrument, étant Régalles et Virgynalles”, qui se trouvait dans la Chambre du roi. On décrit souvent ces instruments comme ayant “un jeu de tuyaux de timbre”. La popularité de l’intrument est documentée pendant tout le XVIe siècle. William Treasorer, par exemple, était “facteur de Regall” d’Edward VI et d’Élisabeth Ire.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999


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


Track 10 on CDS44461/7 CD3 [2'59] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Track 18 on CDA66558 [2'59] Deleted

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