SD1064: Mr Pepys' Pavan & Mr Pepys' Pleasure (2 harps)

Mr Pepys' Pavan & Mr Pepys' Pleasure (Duets)
in short and extended versions
Stephen Dunstone

Cover imageMr Pepys' Pavan & Mr Pepys' Pleasure
For - Intermediate Harp Duos

Please click the "About this work & Performance Notes" heading below for further details

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Artist Profile and catalogue of works - Stephen Dunstone

Audio / Video Sample

Mr Pepys' Pavan Duet (extended version)

STWD Mr Pepys' Pavan harp duet (extended version)

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Mr Pepys' Pleasure (extended version)

STWD Mr Pepys' Pleasure harp duet (extended version)

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About this work & Performance Notes

Mr Pepys' Pavan & Mr Pepys' Pleasure (Duet)
in short and extended versions

There are two parts: Harp 1 & Harp 2

Short Versions (from contents page of score)

The very first Mr Pepys’ Pavan was a simple ensemble for some of my pupils to play as incidental music for a school production about Samuel Pepys.

I then made a solo version of it, which appears in Harpo Four. Because I always enjoy playing along with my pupils wherever possible, I wrote an accompaniment - and because a lot of my pupils like playing accompaniments that follow harmonic patterns and are easily memorable, the duet became a regular performance piece for pairs of pupils. This is the one that I’ve referred to as the “short version” in this book.

I was very drawn to the soundworld of this music, so I wrote another piece that conjured up the same kind of atmosphere, though slightly livelier. It seemed appropriate to make reference to Samuel Pepys again, and when I did some more research into this 17th century diarist and all-round extraordinary man, I discovered that as well as being clever and talented, he was somewhat addicted to the pleasures of life. Mr Pepys’ Pleasure seemed therefore to be the logical title for the piece. This too appears in Harpo Four as a solo. Here it is in duet form, as a counterpart to the Pavan.

The “extended versions” are longer (obviously), but are also slightly trickier, as you’ll discover. More about them on page 8. [of the score]

The word “Pavan”, incidentally, is an alternative word for “Pavane”, which was a slow and stately dance popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, the only difference being that “Pavane” is a French word and emphasises the second syllable, while “Pavan” emphasises the first syllable and sounds more English. Since Samuel Pepys was very English, I chose “Pavan”.

There’s a variety of suggestions about where the word came from in the first place, the one I like best being that it’s derived from the Latin pavo, meaning peacock, as the dance is rather like the courting movements of the bird...

Extended Versions (from page 8 of score)

In this extended version of Mr Pepys’ Pavan the first verse is identical to the whole of the short version. However it becomes more challenging in the second verse, where Harp 1 has a flowing descant and a somewhat trickier left hand part, while Harp 2 plays the music that Harp 1 had in the first verse.

The extended version of Mr Pepys’ Pleasure takes a different approach. This time there are three continuous sections, all of which make use of the same melody and harmony, but with varying time signatures, speeds and styles. They’re titled “The Encounter”, “The Galliard”, and “The Pleasure”, imagining three stages of Samuel Pepys’ pursuit of pleasure. “The Encounter” is almost identical to the entire short version on pages 4 and 5; “The Galliard” is a livelier but graceful dance in 6/4, in which the Harp 2 part takes the melody; and “The Pleasure” is a syncopated burst of energy, marked con fuoco. As with the Pavan, therefore, this piece also becomes more challenging after the first section.

A galliard was another dance very popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. In fact the pavan and galliard were often performed one after the other. What’s more, according to John Stanhope, a Gentleman of Elizabeth I’s Privy Chamber when the Queen was in her mid-fifties “The Queen is so well, I assure you, six or seven galliards in a morning, besides music and singing, is her ordinary exercise.” But in an era when offending a monarch could easily get your head chopped off, it’s quite understandable that John Stanhope would be full of glowing praise for the Queen, so the reliability of that report is open to question.

You’ll notice that I’ve marked “The Encounter” cortesemente, which means “courteously”, whereas the short version of Mr Pepys’ Pleasure (which is the same as “The Encounter”) is marked con anima. This is because the three sections of the extended version allow for a build up to the energy of “The Pleasure”, so it made sense for “The Encounter” to offer a gentler start, but I wanted the short version to have energy and spirit too; that version can therefore be played with as much anima as the players want to put into it.


Library Information

Title: Mr Pepys' Pavan & Mr Pepys' Pleasure
Contents: Two work both in Short and Extended Versions
Composer: Stephen Dunstone
Instrumentation: 2 Lever or Pedal Harps
Level: Intermediate Harpists
Format: A4 stapled score and set of 2 A4 parts
Weight: 151gm
ISMN: 979-0-57046-390-9
Our Ref: SD1064
Publisher: Creighton's Collection
Printer/Distributor: Creighton's Collection
Edition/Year: 2022
Origin: UK

Sample Pages

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