This pair of works is one of the finest of Byrd’s most mature pavan and galliard pairs, dating from the early years of the seventeenth century. Neighbour suggests that their keyboard style may be Byrd’s response to the style of his pupil John Bull, generally less melodic and more figurative. In the third strain of the pavan, Byrd appears to quote from Bull’s fine Pavana of my L. Lumley
No 41). John, Lord Lumley, died in 1609. The individual melodies are less inherently expressive than is usual in Byrd’s keyboard music, but a fine contrast is built up between scales falling a fourth in the first strain, or rising a fourth in the second strain, and a more static but rhythmically assertive material for the third strain. The emphasis on overall range is orchestrated in a particularly sonorous manner. The pavan is a ‘16-bar’ work, its six sections running to 96 semibreves. The galliard, again full of figurative material, closes with a trumpet-like third strain.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999