Battle Pavan

Our knowledge of Susato’s life is incomplete. It is thought that he was born around 1500, but we know for sure that he was in Antwerp by 1529, working as a copyist and town musician – he was a trumpeter. He founded a very successful publishing company in 1541 (the first in the Low Countries) and this enabled him to build his own premises (‘At the Sign of the Crumhorn’) in 1547.

As well as publishing chansons, masses and motets by well-known composers such as Janequin, Josquin, Lassus and Willaert, he also composed himself and issued The Danserye in 1551. It was a collection of dances, some probably based on popular Flemish airs of the time, which was published to be playable by various instrumental combinations to cater for the many amateur and professional consorts that existed during the period.

The Battle Pavan is strong in its harmonic and melodic simplicity and transcribes particularly well for the beginning wind band.