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La Volta L. Morley, BK90

FVB (No 159). [Neighbour, p 170]

It is not known whether this piece is for Lord or Lady Morley. The first wife of Edward Parker, the twelfth Lord Morley, was Elizabeth, Lady Monteagle, who died in 1585. Byrd wrote Lady Montegle’s Paven for Lady Morley (BK75). If this volta had been intended for her, it would more likely have carried her name, as does her pavan. Lord Morley himself died in 1618 so the piece could possibly have been for him. In either case, the work has no connection to Byrd’s pupil, the composer Thomas Morley. Byrd dedicated numerous pieces to lords: the pavans and galliards for Sir William Petre (BK3) and the Earl of Salisbury (BK15), and a pavan and galliard in F major for Sir Charles Somerset (now lost, but mentioned by Tomkins). The known pieces written for eminent women patrons are the four that carry Lady Nevell’s name, Lady Montegle’s Paven, and of course The Queenes Alman.

The tune used here was already known in England and on the Continent. As usual, each of the two phrases carries its own varied repeat (during which Byrd here does not even liven up the rather bald Italianate chordal accompaniment); however, when the whole structure is repeated in a full variation, the writing becomes considerably freer and more imitative, bearing the clear stamp of the composer’s personality.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

On ne sait pas si cette pièce est dédiée à Lord Morley ou à Lady Morley. La première femme d’Edward Parker, le douzième Lord Morley, fut Élizabeth, Lady Monteagle, morte en 1585. Byrd composa Lady Montegle’s Paven pour cette première “Lady Morley” (BK75). Si cette volte lui était destinée, elle aurait sans doute reçu son propre nom, comme pour la pavane BK75. Puisque Lord Morley lui-même est mort en 1618, la pièce était peut-être composée pour lui. En tout cas, il n’y a pas de lien avec l’élève de Byrd, le compositeur Thomas Morley. Byrd a dédié au moins trois paires de pièces à des Lords : les pavanes et gaillardes pour Sir William Petre (BK3), pour Lord Salisbury (BK15), et une pavane et gaillarde en fa majeur pour Sir Charles Somerset (maintenant perdues, mais mentionnées par Tomkins). Plusieurs compositions de Byrd portent les noms de ses mécènes femmes, dont les quatre pour Lady Nevell dans son manuscrit, Lady Montegle’s Paven et, bien sûr, The Queenes Alman.

La mélodie utilisée ici était déjà connue en Angleterre et sur le continent. Comme d’habitude, chacune des deux phrases est suivie d’une reprise variée (pendant lesquelles Byrd n’essaie même pas d’animer l’accompagnement à l’italienne, un peu simplet) ; mais une fois le premier énoncé complètement fini, il ajoute une variation entière de sa propre composition, nettement plus libre et imitative, et qui porte toutes les marques de sa personnalité.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999


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


Track 12 on CDS44461/7 CD5 [1'28] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDS44461/7 disc 5 track 12

Recording date
18 December 1996
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 5 Track 12
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 5 Track 12
    Release date: September 2010
    Deletion date: October 2018
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
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