is in some ways a companion piece to the extended Infelix ego
. Both start with a section for three voices (reminiscent of the old Votive Antiphon) and Byrd even uses a first inversion chord at the cadence before the first choral entry, a nod in the direction of Robert White who had used this startling gesture at the end of the first section of his Lamentations for five voices. Cunctis diebus
is an example of Byrd choosing his words carefully. He uses verses from the famously miserable Book of Job: one verse from chapter 14 and then two from chapter 10. There is nothing positive here and Byrd highlights the darkness with his harmony at the words ‘ut plangam paululum’ (‘that I might lament a little’). Yet in the final section ‘where there is no order, but everlasting horror dwells’, Byrd chooses a rather cool and neutral sound world before a ravishing coda. Perhaps Byrd’s message is that fear of what is to come is unfounded and that the new world is not so terrifying.
from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2010