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William Byrd Suite

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Gordon Jacob

Gordon Jacob


General Info

Year: 1924 / 1960
Duration: c. 20:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Virginal
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $115.00   |   Score Only - $28.00


Movements

1. Earle of Oxford's March - 3:05
2. Pavana - 2:48
3. Jhon come kiss me now - 1:55
4. Mayden's Song - 4:05
5. Wolsey's Wilde - 2:10
6. The Bells - 4:35


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet (optional, doubles Alto Sax part)
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
F Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba (divisi)
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbal
  • Snare Drum


Errata

The following errors are in the SCORE:

Movement One

  • m.26, Euphonium, the 6th 16th-note should be a B-natural (add accidental).
  • m.59, Alto Clarinet, last 16th-note should be a G (not a B).
  • m.59, Alto Saxophone, last 16th-note should be a G (not a B).
  • m.98, Euphonium, add accent to the first note and a slur to the first two 8th notes (to match up with what trombones are doing).
  • m.103-104, Snare Drum, add slurs to show the continuing roll.
  • m.105 Tuba, change all three notes to C.
  • m.114-115, Piccolo, Flutes, and Eb Clarinet, the flourish should come before the beat.

Movement Two

  • m.12, Cornet II, correct to read as it is in the score.
  • m.21, Eb Alto Clarinet and Alto Saxophone, change trill on D-sharp to one on F-sharp.
  • m.23, Cornet I, add 16th flag (part is correct).

Movement Three

  • m.6, Eb Soprano Clarinet, the last note should be an E-natural (the part is correct).
  • m.8, Baritone, articulations should be the same as the basses, bassoons, and clarinets.
  • m.36, All parts from 2nd clarinet down, key signatures are missing.
  • m.39, Bb Clarinet I, Cornet II, the fifth 8th note should be an E-flat, the rest of the notes after that are natural.
  • m.48, Bass Drum and Cymbals, add ties to the upbeat of beat two and the downbeat of beat four.

Movement Four

  • m.65, Bb Cornet II, add an accent.
  • m.81, Eb Soprano Clarinet, add an accent on the first note.
  • m.82, Solo Bb Clarinet, dot missing from first 8th note.

Movement Five

  • m.8, Snare Drum, the first three notes should be 8th notes (part is correct).
  • m.20, Bb Cornet II, slur missing.

Movement Six

  • m.50-56, Timpani, add slurs to rolls.
  • m.56, Timpani, remove extra 8th rest (part is correct).
  • m.57, Trumpets, add 9/8 meter signature.


The following errors are in the PARTS:

Movement One

  • Piccolo, m.114-115, the flourish should come before the beat.
  • Flutes, m.114-115, the flourish should come before the beat.
  • Oboe, m.69, the two 8th notes should be a dotted 8th note and a 16th (score is correct).
  • Eb Soprano Clarinet, m.64, 2nd 16th-note should be a B / m.114-115, the flourish should come before the beat.
  • Bb Soprano Clarinet, m.91-92, add a slur that covers both bars (score is correct).
  • Eb Alto Clarinet, m.55-56, slur is missing (score is correct) / m.21, change trill on D-sharp to one on F-sharp.
  • Alto Saxophone, m.55-56, slur is missing (score is correct) / m.21, change trill on D-sharp to one on F-sharp.
  • Cornet I, add a third flag to the 16th note figure (thus making it 32nd notes, score is correct).
  • Euphonium, m.26, the 6th 16th-note should be a B-flat / m.98, add accent to the first note and a slur to the first two 8th notes (to match up with what trombones are doing).
  • Tuba, m.57, add piano to the first beat / m.105, change all three notes to C.
  • Snare Drum, m.104, add flags to half note.

Movement Two

  • Flute, m. 6, add the 16th flag on the first pair of notes (score is correct).
  • Eb Alto Clarinet, m.21, change trill on D-sharp to one on F-sharp.
  • Alto Saxophone, m.21, change trill on D-sharp to one on F-sharp.

Movement Three

  • Eb Soprano Clarinet, m.81, add an accent on the first note.
  • Bb Clarinet I, m.39, the fifth 8th note should be an E-flat, the rest of the notes after that are natural.
  • Bb Clarinet II, m.59, change the first note to C (score is correct).
  • Eb Alto Clarinet, m.9-10, slur is missing (score is correct).
  • Alto Saxophones, m.9-10, slur is missing (score is correct).
  • Cornet II, m.39, the fifth 8th note should be an E-flat, the rest of the notes after that are natural.
  • Baritone, m.8, articulations should be the same as the basses, bassoons, and clarinets.
  • Bass Drum and Cymbals, m.48, add ties to the upbeat of beat two and the downbeat of beat four.

Movement Four

  • Flutes & Piccolo, m.43, the second beat should be two 8th notes (score is correct).
  • Solo Bb Clarinet, m.82, dot missing from the first 8th note.
  • Eb Soprano Clarinet, m.86-87, add a slur on the third beat (score is correct).
  • Bb Clarinet II, m.16, there should be two quarter-note rests.
  • Bb Cornet I, m.19, add a 16th flag following the dotted 8th note (the score is correct) / m.63, remove the 16th flag from the last note in the measure (score is correct).
  • Bb Cornet II, m.65, add an accent / m.97-98, the fortissimo and diminuendo should be moved from m.97 to m.98.
  • Trombone III, m. 63, remove the diminuendo and insert a crescendo (score is correct).

Movement Five

  • Piccolo, m.6, add a slur (score is correct).
  • Solo Bb Clarinet, m.2, add a slur (score is correct) / m.30, last note should be a quarter note (score is correct).
  • Eb Alto Clarinet, m.1, add a piano on the fourth beat (score is correct) / m.31, the first two notes should be 8th notes (score is correct).
  • Eb Alto Saxophone, m.1, add a piano on the fourth beat (score is correct) / m.31, the first two notes should be 8th notes (score is correct).
  • Bb Cornet II, m.20, slur missing.

Movement Six

  • Flute, m.61, add 16th flags (score is correct).
  • Bb Cornet I, m.59, add slur to the first two beats (score is correct) / m.69, 70, 81, add 16th flags (score is correct).
  • Trumpets, m.75-79, dots are missing from all half and quarter notes (score is correct).
  • Trombone I-II, m.85, the accents and articulations in the parts should be the same as in the score.
  • Timpani, m.50-56, add slurs to rolls.


Program Notes

Keyboard music formed one of Byrd's main compositional endeavors, and the fruit of these labors provided the impulse for an entire school of Elizabethan keyboard composition. Most of these works were intended for performance at the virginal, a small relative of the harpsichord in many timbral and mechanical aspects (so named because it was often found in the bedrooms of unmarried young 17th century ladies). Although Byrd's keyboard works first appear in the 1570s, they only circulated in manuscript until the publication of My Ladye Nevells Booke (1591) and Parthenia (1611). However, the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book languished in obscurity until 1899 before receiving publication. This collection comprises the largest set of Byrd's keyboard works -- around seventy -- and is also regarded as England's foremost collection of keyboard works. All of the movements Gordon Jacob set in William Byrd Suite have the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book as their source.

Gordon Jacob considered William Byrd Suite "freely transcribed," as virginal players had no means of creating dynamic shading or timbral contrast on their instrument. Composers created dynamic intensity by adding voices above and/or below the melody. Similarly, composers created musical intensity by adding lines of increasing complexity, ornamenting the melody. Jacob remained mostly faithful to Byrd's original melody, harmony, form and figuration, but added his own orchestrational color and dynamic shading to intensify the aforementioned expressive qualities of the music.

It is an overstatement to describe each movement simply as growing louder and more complex due to layers of ornamentation, variation and imitation. Although Byrd utilizes these compositional devices in all the works represented, his genius lies in how he utilizes these effects in varying degrees to avoid monotony. In The Earl of Oxford's March, devices of crescendo, ornamentation and imitation are clearly evident. This movement, marked un poco pomposo, begins its stately procession through the two iterations of its form simply and very quietly, growing steadily stronger and more complex into the climactic final sections. Although originally attributed to Byrd, the slow, stately "Pavana" is now placed within Anthony Holborne's works list. Jacob alters the harmonic scheme of this movement, beginning each phrase in a different tonality, yet emphasizing Bb-major in them all. Jhon come kisse me now, The Mayden's Song and Wolsey's Wilde are sets of variations upon an eight and two sixteen bar melodies, respectively. Imitation and ornamentation are the primary developmental tools in the first two, while the third follows a more conservative approach with far less figuration and only one variation. Jacob's orchestration of Wolsey's Wilde takes advantage of the instrumental forces, alternating loud and soft dynamics, and effectively utilizing the timbral possibilities of the winds. The Bells is structured in large musical paragraphs, a continuous motivic variation emanating from a single two-note ground in the bass. The work culminates with a tubular bell solo amidst a grandiose layering of contrapuntal texture.

- Program Note by Brian K. Doyle


Jacob’s William Byrd Suite is one of 400 pieces completed by the prolific composer. It was composed in 1923 to honor the 300th anniversary of Byrd’s death (c.1623). A pupil of Thomas Tallis, William Byrd excelled at writing secular and sacred polyphonic choral and keyboard music in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Jacob chose six pieces to honor Byrd. Originally scored for orchestra, Jacob was asked by conductor Adrian Boult to score the work for massed military bands at the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley Stadium on May 29, 1924.

- Program Note from The Ohio State University Symphonic Band concert program, 6 October 2016


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • Arkansas:
    • Grade V: Any four movements
    • Grade VI: Complete Suite
  • Florida: V
  • Maryland
    • Grade V: Any 4 movements including 1 and 3
    • Grade V: Any 4 movements including 3 and 4
  • New York
    • Grade VI: Any three movements
  • Texas:
    • Grade III: Any two movements
    • Grade IV: Any three movements
    • Grade V: Movement 1 + 3 other movements


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Miami (Ohio) University Wind Ensemble (Gary A. Speck, conductor)– 11 March 2020
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Concert Band (Daniel J. Farris, conductor) – 1 March 2020
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Symphonic Band (Matthew Brunner, conductor) – 23 February 2020
  • Houghton (N.Y.) College Wind Ensemble (Timothy McGarvey, conductor) – 21 February 2020
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David T. Kehler, conductor) – 19 February 2020
  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Bill Haehnel, conductor) – 1 February 2020
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Paul Bryan, conductor) – 14 December 2019
  • Illinois Valley Community College (Oglesby) Wind Ensemble (Phil Whaley, conductor) – 12 December 2019
  • Nazareth College (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jared Chase, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Cuesta Wind Ensemble (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – November 17, 2019
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 20 October 2019
  • Pima Community College (Tucson, Ariz.) Wind Ensemble (Mark Nelson, conductor) – 17 October 2019
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) – 10 October 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Joshua Gall, conductor) – 2 October 2019
  • Charlottesville (Va.) Municipal Band (Stephen R. Layman, conductor) – 18 June 2019
  • Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Brian Hopwood, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Middlebury (Vt.) Community Wind Ensemble (Catherine Ott, conductor)– 14 April 2019
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Concert Band (Jason H. Nam, conductor) – 6 April 2019
  • Boston (Mass.) University Wind Ensemble (David Martins, conductor) – 28 February 2019
  • Cleveland State University (Ohio) Wind Ensemble (Birch Browning, conductor) – 21 February 2019
  • Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Brian Messier, conductor ) – 7 December 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Symphonic Band (Jerry Luckhardt, conductor) – 29 November 2018
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 5 August 1979


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources