A fauxbourdon is a single melody line, often a Gregorian chant, thickened out by other vocal lines added above and/or below it: a technique as old as choral writing itself but still usable today. The single line which forms the basis of Park’s setting of the pair of canticles sung at Anglican Evensong is the ancient chant known as the tonus peregrinus
(‘wandering tune’), so called because it strays beyond the normal boundaries of a Psalm chant. Park follows the traditional alternatim
practice of presenting successive pairs of verses with the first of the pair left plain (with just the chant) followed by a verse elaborated with fauxbourdons, though he plays with this convention by allowing sustained wordless chords to support the chant in the plain verses. The fauxbourdon verses are treated more freely, with the chant itself sometimes elaborated, and the added voices forming chords which belong more to the world of, say, Herbert Howells than to Machaut or Dufay.
from notes by John Rutter © 2018