This organ setting of the same plainchant has some features in common with one of the consort ones, so the likelihood that it is by Byrd is strengthened. It would still have been useful during Byrd’s years as organist at Lincoln Cathedral in the 1560s. The plainsong is clearly audible in the top voice. Below it, two voices (tenor and bass) set up a gentle dialogue. The first phrase of three bars is followed by a similar answering one that however leads the music to a different cadence. The third phrase is much longer and more involved, leading the top voice to abandon the strict plainsong in steady notes towards the end. Finally, for the last phrase an extra voice (alto) is added, bringing this luminous little work to a fine close. Christe qui lux would have been liturgically appropriate at the quiet evening service of Compline, during Lent. It is here played twice, at 10’ pitch and then at 5’ pitch.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999
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