Peter Phillips was an eminent English composer, organist, and Catholic priest exiled to Flanders. He was one of the greatest keyboard virtuosos of his time.
The "Pavana Dolorosa" is taken from the "Fitzwilliam Virginal Book" (1562/1612) and is divided in seven different sections. Philips was denounced by a compatriot for complicity in a plot on Queen Elizabeth's life, and he was temporarily imprisoned at the Hague, where he probably composed the pavan and galliard Doloroso. He was acquitted and released without further charges. The Pavana, dated 1590, is no doubt written on the death of his patron, Lord Thomas Paget.