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A Pavyn and Galliard, BK16

BL Add MS 31392 (f. 6). [Neighbour, ‘Pavan & Galliard a3’ p 200]

These works survive in a manuscript dating from about 1600 (as well as in a recently discovered fragmentary source), but they must have been written considerably earlier. They are often overshadowed by Byrd’s more famous Aeolian mode A minor pavans and galliards, the third in the Nevell sequence (BK14), a ‘16-bar’ work, and the ‘8-bar’ Earle of Salisbury (BK15a); yet it would be a pity to overlook this pair. Here is a ‘16-bar’ pavan, with its six sections running to 96 semibreves; it is a fine example of Byrd’s early mastery of the form. Each strain is harmonically different: the three strains start on the unexpected chords of E major, C major and A major. Above all, it works out a systematic rhythmic progression from the slow semibreve harmonies in the first strain, through the minim harmonies in the second, to the crotchet movement and quaver syncopations in the third. The excellent galliard (whose varied strains start on the chords of A minor, F major and A major) sounds almost as if it could originally have been a song.

from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999

Ces pièces se trouvent dans un manuscrit qui date d’environ 1600 (ainsi que dans une source fragmentaire, découverte récemment), mais elles ont dû être composées bien avant. On a tendance à les oublier, à cause de l’ombre portée sur elles par les autres pièces comparables en la mineur (mode éolien) plus connues, telles la troisième dans la séquence Nevell (BK14), “à seize”, et par une œuvre “à huit”, la Earle of Salisbury (BK15a). Pourtant il serait dommage de ne pas s’attarder sur celles-ci. La pavane est “à seize”, ayant six sections et quatre-vingt-seize semi-brèves. C’est un bel exemple de la maîtrise de cette forme que le jeune Byrd avait acquise. Chaque strophe a un caractère harmonique différent. Les trois commencent sur les accords inattendus de mi majeur, ut majeur et la majeur. En outre, la pavane met en place une progression rythmique, à partir des harmonies lentes en semi-brèves du début, en passant par les minimes de la deuxième strophe, jusqu’aux noires et croches en syncopes de la troisième. L’excellente gaillarde (dont les strophes commencent sur les accords de la mineur, fa majeur et la majeur) aurait presque pu être une chanson à l’origine.

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: Pavyn
Track 12 on CDS44461/7 CD7 [4'11] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
Movement 2: Galliard
Track 13 on CDS44461/7 CD7 [1'36] 7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service

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

Recording date
14 February 1997
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 7 Track 12
    Release date: September 1999
    Deletion date: July 2010
    7CDs Superseded by CDS44461/7
  2. Byrd: The Complete Keyboard Music (CDS44461/7)
    Disc 7 Track 12
    Release date: September 2010
    Deletion date: October 2018
    7CDs Boxed set (at a special price) — Archive Service
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