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Hyperion Records

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Portrait of Mary I by Hans Eworth (c1520-1574)
AKG London
Track(s) taken from CDA67874
Recording details: November 2010
Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, United Kingdom
Produced by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood
Engineered by Martin Haskell
Release date: October 2011
Total duration: 3 minutes 32 seconds

'The Cardinall's Musick are at their best in this repertoire, and their performances have confidence and authority … Parsons certainly deserves the hearing that Carwood's musicians afford us, so this addition to the catalogue is very valuable' (Gramophone)

'Carwood and his singers highlight the inherent drama of Parsons' style, notably in O bone Jesu, with its changing textures, brilliant canons and expressive dissonances … perhaps the crowning glory of the disc is the final Ave Maria, the slow and poignant unfolding of which echoes long in the memory. Hyperion's detailed recording, swathed in the glowing acoustic of the Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, enhances these seraphic performances' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Parsons is not a one-hit-wonder after all … one may expect the incidence of Parsons' music on programmes to increase significantly especially after such a fine sound as Carwood generates' (Classic FM Magazine)

Credo quod redemptor
6vv AATTBarB
author of text
First Respond at Matins, Office for the Dead

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
No Lamentations have survived from Parsons but settings were produced by Tallis, Osbert Parsley, White (two sets), Alfonso Ferrabosco and Byrd. It is interesting to note these names when looking at the three Funeral Responds set by Parsons, as three similar Responds are set both by Alfonso Ferrabosco and William Byrd. Libera me, Domine (9th Respond) is an austere work with the plainsong cantus firmus maintained throughout in the tenor part. Peccantem me quotidie (7th Respond) sounds more modern even though it carries the plainsong tune as a cantus firmus in the contratenor I part; its lines are smoother and there is more step-wise movement in the melodies and a greater reliance on plangent harmonies. Credo quod redemptor (1st Respond) sounds the most modern of the three as its style is more reminiscent of the early Elizabethan motet as developed by Tallis and Byrd. There are striking similarities between this piece and a setting of the same text by Alfonso Ferrabosco and it has been suggested that Ferrabosco, originally a native of Bologna who was resident in England at various times in this period, had brought the idea of setting the Funeral Responds from the Continent. However, if this is the case it seems odd that Parsons should have set two such Responds using the old-fashioned cantus firmus technique. Parsons’ characteristic broken sixths and sevenths are obvious in the opening bars of Credo quod redemptor and it seems more likely that Parsons was the model for Ferrabosco.

from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2011

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