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The third pavian and galliard, BK14

Nevell (Nos 14, 15), Weelkes (Nos 3, 4), FVB (Nos 252, 253). [Neighbour, ‘Pavan & Galliard a1’ p 190]

For these pieces I adopt the readings of Weelkes, which appears to give a revision of the probably earlier Nevell text. The pavan is again in the minor (but this time the A minor Aeolian mode), and Byrd returns to the ‘16-bar’ format so its six sections run to 96 semibreves. The harmonic rhythm of the pavan is particularly slow at the opening, but speeds up somewhat in the second strain and especially the third strain. The first strain slowly climbs its way to E, only to sink heavily back again. In the second strain, the melody manages to push this up to high G, and then, taking its breath, confirms this long climb up to G again. But all this is preparation for the third strain, which shoots straight up to the A, the highest note on the keyboard, and then spends the rest of the piece gently sinking away from it, and slipping down a full octave. The three strains start on chords of A minor, F major, A major and the galliard’s harmonic course goes through A major, C major and D major, but listing these chords does not begin to indicate the full variety of the rich and unusual harmonies in these two pieces.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

J’adopte ici les variantes du manuscrit Weelkes, qui semblent être des révisions de la version Nevell. La pavane est en mineur (il s’agit du mode éolien, en la mineur), et Byrd reprend le grand format, “à seize” ; les six sections ont ainsi quatre-vingt-seize semi-brèves. Le rythme harmonique est particulièrement lent au début, mais il s’accélère pendant la deuxième strophe, et surtout dans la troisième. La mélodie monte vers mi, dans la première strophe, avant de retomber pesamment. Dans la deuxième strophe, elle remonte, cette fois jusqu’à sol ; après une respiration, elle refait le trajet, et confirme l’arrivée sur sol aigu. Tout ceci est une préparation de ce qui se passe dans la troisième strophe, qui monte directement vers la, la note la plus aiguë du clavier, et ensuite retombe doucement vers le point de départ, une longue descente sur une octave. Les trois strophes commencent sur des accords de la mineur, fa majeur et la majeur et la gaillarde passe par la majeur, ut majeur et ré majeur ; mais citer ces accords ne donne que peu d’idées de la complexité du voyage harmonique de ces deux pièces.

extrait des notes rédigées par Davitt Moroney © 1999


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


Movement 1: Pavian
Track 7 on CDS44461/7 CD6 [5'03] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Movement 2: Galliard
Track 8 on CDS44461/7 CD6 [1'46] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service

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