One link between composers of the mid-sixteenth-century is their penchant for producing sets of Lamentations and Responds from the Office of Matins in the Funeral Rite. 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.
from notes by Andrew Carwood © 2011