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Echo-writing is one manifestation of composers’ liking, around the turn of the seventeenth century, for special effects of musical perspective. Here the effect depends on the dynamic possibilities of the cornetts rather than their physical placing, for each choir takes turns to echo the other.
Like some other canzonas, the Canzon in echo anticipates the ritornello form of the later concerto, the soloistic echo passages being framed by full ten-part sections. This structure is especially clear in the alternative version of the piece (No 12).
from notes by Timothy Roberts © 1997