Movement 1: Paven
Movement 2: Galiard
Neighbour firmly rejects it as a work that Byrd ‘would certainly not have welcomed as his own ... it is difficult to believe that Byrd could have produced this poverty-stricken work at any period.’ Given the very slight doubt that remains, I have included it here. Listeners can now exercise their own critical judgement and decide for themselves. Such an exercise is instructive since it draws attention to many significant features of Byrd’s genuine pavans and galliards, features that shine here by their absence. Since the pavan is a regularly conceived, short, ‘8-bar’ work, with six sections running to 48 semibreves, it may be most fruitfully compared with the ‘short’ C major pavan, BK30a, the fourth in the Nevell sequence.
I can think of no other pavan by Byrd with such unmemorable phrases as those found here, snatches of weak melody that meander around such a limited range of notes. The rhythmic life of the pieces is very dull. It also sticks rigorously and unadventurously to the tonic key: every one of the six sections starts in C major, and four of them end in C. There is a somewhat striking, if not particularly original, harmonic moment in the second strain, but it is needlessly recalled (and in a less convincing manner) in the third strain. As for the galliard, it shares consistently the dubious features noted in the pavan, but has one extra oddity. Most irregularly, each of the three strains has a different number of bars (5, 4 and 6, respectively), a procedure unknown anywhere in Byrd’s works. This makes for a total of thirty bars and goes against Morley’s precise rule – which he surely learned from Byrd himself – of always writing pavans and galliards to come out to a multiple of four bars.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999