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Both of Parsons’s seven-part In nomines are found in a huge ‘table book’, now in the British Library. It is called A booke of In nomines & other solfainge songes of v: vi: vii: & viii: parts for voyces or instrumentes. Interestingly, there are no eight-part pieces. I think the young Purcell saw this book, as the title to the second part of the manuscript where he wrote his immortal Fantazies, also in the British Library, echoes the earlier work: Here Begineth ye 6, 7 & 8 part Fantazias. Again, there are no eight-part pieces.
But in other respects the music is very different: Purcell calls for two high treble viols, three tenor viols and two basses, with the cantus firmus in the middle of the texture; while Parsons places the tune at the top of the texture for both works, and has a combination of low viols to weave an extraordinary polyphonic texture beneath.
from notes by Richard Boothby © 2019