Movement 1: Pavana
Movement 2: Galiarda
The exceptionally rich musical material of his pavan is subjected to numerous hidden imitations (in the first strain), augmentations in the bass (in the second and third strains), and lively countersubjects throughout. It is a ‘16-bar’ pavan, its six sections running to 96 semibreves. Byrd is here not working in the traditional F mode (Lydian), which had no B flats and was harmonically ungainly and structurally unstable; the strong insistence on the chord of B flat major confirms his use of the Ionian mode, transposed down a fifth. The result appears tonally rather more forward-looking since the Ionian mode is so close to the modern major scale. The lively and playful galliard perfectly complements the pavan. Both pieces probably date from about 1600.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999