Bass Viol II part from Garland Pavan à 6 (after Pearsall) for viol consort [2014]

"Lay a Garland"

Composer
Robert Pearsall
Duration
5 minutes
Genre
Classical music

Originally Robert Pearsall’s well-known part-song is in 8 parts. I thought it would go well on viols because of the melancholic mood, and all the telling suspensions reminiscent of Lotti’s "Crucifixus". Since viol players rarely get together in 8 parts because of the seriously limited repertory, for my sins I compressed it into 6 parts and took it up a tone into a better viol key, hopefully without too much damage. I thought it would go best as a sort of Pavan. So I’ve introduced a couple of repeats by inserting an extra bar at the cadence point. The pairs of instruments are switched for the repeats, and I’ve added a little coda. and then go crashing back regardless of where its modulated to, or rather melting back into the distant key that the section started in.

The original words from "The Maid’s Tragedy" Act II Scene I written in 1608-11 were by Beaumont and Fletcher. "Lay a garland on my hearse of the[I] dismal yew. Maidens, willow branches wear, say I died true. My love was false, but I was firm from my hour of birth.[I]. Upon my buried body lie lightly, gentle earth."

Pearsall changed it slightly to - "Lay a garland on her hearse of dismal yew; Maidens, willow branches wear; Say, say she died true, Her love was false, but she was firm. Upon her buried body lie lightly, thou gentle earth."

Robert Pearsall wrote a contrafactum to the biblical text "Tu es Petrus".

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