This C major (Ionian mode) setting of a popular Elizabethan tune is considerably less complex than usual. Perhaps Byrd made it for a pupil with limited keyboard skills. After the full statement of the melody, there is only one further variation. The form is an ABCC quatrain, well known from verse stanza form; it is found in several other works, such as the C major Corranto
(BK45) and The Mayden’s songe
(BK82). Titled Wolseys Wilde
in the FVB
, the little work has the title Wilson’s Wilde in Forster
(No 10, although only the title, without the music, was copied out) and the tune is known in other sources under that name.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999