Editorial Notes

Ancient Groove Music specializes in producing editions of sacred choral music that have the highest standards of music engraving, academic rigour and performability. The catalogue consists of scholarly editions, from the Renaissance to the Baroque, designed by performers for performers. We also publish books on music and literature written by musicians.

Miserere mei - ‘Evolutions’ Gregorio Allegri

This edition, curated by Harry Christophers and Ben Byram-Wigfield for The Sixteen, offers a showcase of this work's evolution through time, starting with Allegri's simple, unadorned musical framework; then adding the abbellimenti that he intended to be used with them; then the haunting Top C vocal line for which the work became famous in the 20th century. Read the complete history of this fascinating piece of music.

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Te Deum Laudamus Gregorio Allegri

There's more to Allegri than just the Miserere! This glorious double-choir setting of the Te Deum shows the Roman composer writing polychoral, antiphonal textures as well as any Venetian. Edited from manuscripts in the Sistine Chapel archive.

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Missa Vidi turbam magnam Gregorio Allegri

Allegri's skill at large-scale counterpoint is shown to full effect in this stunning six-voice setting (SSATTB). Edited from a manuscript in the Sistine Chapel archive.

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John Amner (1579–1641)

John Amner was a chorister, organist, and minor Canon at Ely Cathedral. He was appointed Informator choristarum in 1610.He is best known for his Cesar's Service. Henry Caesar was the Dean of Ely Cathedral, anda keen patron of music.

We are preparing an edition of the complete Cesar's Service: Venite, Te Deum, Jubilate, Magnificat, Nunc dimittis, Kyrie to the Commandments, Credo. These works will be published in separate volumes for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Communion (the latter with an additional Gloria from his other works).

Amner also wrote a series of motets, many of which were published in a collection of 1615.

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Stabat mater dolorosa Claudio Casciolini

This hitherto rare work by Claudio Casciolini follows the traditional Roman alternatim practice of two different musical forms alternating between plainsong verses, before a unique final verse. It has been previously published in two 19th-century editions as a four-part work. However, the surviving manuscript source, dated 1751, contains a fifth part (Soprano 1) in the music for the first and last verses. A manuscript copy made by Pietro Alfieri in 1825 seems to have ignored or accidentally forgotten the top Soprano part — possibly an oversight in transcribing from part books? — and this may have been the source for the published versions. The music of the published editions is all but identical to the original, but when the missing part is restored, the harmonic language of the work is clearly completed: this is certainly no ‘descant’ added subsequently to a simpler original.

The original manuscript contains only one example of each musical form: the first verse is set as an SSATB Adagio in 4/2; the next musical form is an SATB Andante in triple-time, set to the words of verse 6 of the hymn (Quis non posset). However, this would normally be a plainsong verse in a typical alternatim setting. A third music form is supplied for verse 15 (Virgo virginum): an SATB Adagio; and the work concludes with an SSATB final verse that changes meter (Quando corpus).

This edition has recreated all the verses of the Stabat mater dolorosa hymn from the musical forms in the original manuscript: the plainsong hymn tune is used for even verses, and the two music forms alternate in the odd verses. The third musical form has been used for the penultimate verse (Christe, cum sit hinc) rather than for verse 15, and the music of the final verse completes the text.

This edition can be heard on the CD 'Spirit, Strength & Sorrow: Settings of Stabat Mater' by The Sixteen.

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Crux fidelis Felice Anerio

Motet for Holy Week. This edition is taken from BL Add. 34607, (ff 21, 54, 87, 120) copied from Vatican MSS.

Note values have been halved and the music transposed down a tone. Small and bracketed accidentals are editorial.

Crux fidelis,
inter omnes arbor una nobilis,
Nulla silva talem profert,
Fronde, flore, germine:
Dulce lignum, dulces clavos,
dulce pondus sustinet.

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Evening Services Adrian Batten

Batten was one of the most prolific composers of the early 17th century. He wrote seven settings of the Evening Canticles as part of complete Services for the Anglican liturgy: the Short Service for Meanes; the Short Service for Men; the First, Second, Third and Fourth Verse Services; and the 'Long Service', otherwise known as the 'Full or Whole' Service.

The First and Second Verse Services survive in incomplete and contradictory sources, making reliable reconstruction difficult. The Short Service for Men lacks a Bass part, but can be reconstructed satisfactorily. The Third Service lacks the parts for some of the Alto and Bass verse solos, but these can be supplied by the organ book. The Fourth and Full Service require no reconstruction.

Taken from surviving manuscripts at Durham Cathedral, Peterhouse, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music, we have editions available of the Short Service for Men, the Third Evening Service, the Fourth Evening Service, and the Full Service.

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Requiem Peter Cornelius

The 1904 edition by Breitkopf und Härtel contains many mistakes and inconsistencies. This new edition consults the autograph manuscript to correct many wrong notes, missing accidentals, and incorrect lyrics. It retains the editorial dynamics added by Max Hasse, with some alteration.
Altogether, it creates an authoritative performing edition, closer to Cornelius's original intention.

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Factum est silentium Richard Dering

A new edition, taken from the 1618 publication, Cantica Sacra. Minor alterations to suspect or ambiguous underlay have been made to improve the performance of this work.

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Quem vidistis, pastores? Richard Dering

A new edition, faithful to the 1618 publication, Cantica Sacra, in which it is found. Many modern editions apply editorial meter changes and spurious accidentals: this edition provides a more authentic and compelling rendering of the Christmas classic.

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Am Tage der Reinigung Maria Johannes Eccard

Source: No. 20 in Erster Teil der Preussischen Fest-Lieder (Elbląg: Wendelin Bodenhausen, 1642). It is one of three works with the title Am Tage der Reinigung Mariae — the collection is of works for feastdays between Advent and Easter. Original note values have been retained from that edition and the music has been transposed upwards by a tone. Original clefs are c1, c1, c3, c4, c4, f4; the time signature is given as c. All 5 verses, written by Peter von Hagen, are included.

Maria, das Jung-fräuelein,
ihr liebes Jesulein,
im Tempel, wie gewöhnlich war,
den Herren stellet dar,
das Opfer, wie man pflegt,
willig erlegt,
damit sie das Gesetz
ja nicht verletz.

Ihr Opfer hat sie zubereit,
wie pflegten arme Leut;
zwei schlechte Turteltäubelein
ohn allen falschen Schein
damit ihr Kind sie löst,
sich kräftig tröst,
es sei das ewig Wort,
des Himmels Pfort.

Da kommt auch hin ein alter Greis
aus göttlichem Geheis,
unfäht den Heiland aller Welt
und auf seinn Armen hält.
Indem er ihn ansicht,
ganz fröhlich spricht:
O Herr, mit Fried und Freud
von hinn ich scheid,

Weil meine Augen han erkannt,
du seist der Welt Heiland,
ein Licht, welches die Heiden soll
erleuchten überall,
den Gott bereitet hat
aus lauter Gnad,
daß er dir Ehr und Preis
Israels heiß.

Hilf nun, du liebster Jesu Christ
daß wir zu jeder Frist
an dir, wie auch der Simeon,
all unser Freude han,
und endlich sein bereit
wenn kommt die Zeit,
fein sanft zu schlafen ein,
und bei dir sein.

Other German-language editions often use an alternative text, "Maria wallt zum Heiligtum", but without citation of the source.

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O vos omnes Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa

Three settings of this text for Holy Week, each a different variation of Gesualdo's unique harmonic language. The first is for five voices, from Sacrarum Cantionum, 1603. The second two settings, for SSATTB, are found in his complete Responsoria of 1611.

Note values have been halved and the music is presented at original pitch.  Bracketed accidentals are cautionary.

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Cantate Domino & Deus Misereatur William Hayes

William Hayes was born in 1708 in Gloucester, where he was a chorister at the Cathedral under William Hine. In 1731, he became Organist of Worcester Cathedral, before moving to Oxford three years later, to be Organist and Master of the Choristers at Magdalen College. There, he graduated as Mus.B. in 1735, and was made a Doctor of Music in 1749. He held his post at Magdalen until 1774, when he retired after suffering a stroke. He died in 1777.

His notable achievements include having been sub-editor to William Boyce in his famous cathedral music compilations, and conducting the first performance of The Messiah in Oxford. He also presided over the music at the opening of the Radcliffe Library and the Holywell Music Rooms.

This edition has been compiled from a compilation of Hayes' sacred works, Cathedral Music in Score, composed by William Hayes published after his death by his son Philip on 19th December, 1795. The introduction of this volume states:

In the Cantate Domino, some few passages will be found to deviate from the manuscript copies as used in many choirs of England and Ireland. ... These deviations were the effect of mature deliberation in the composer, who left behind him a more perfect score in his own hand writing.

These canticles were also published in Novello's folios of 1855, with an organ part by Vincent Novello. Copies of these were examined but disregarded.

The music is shown here at original pitch and note values. The organ part has been realised from the original figured bass part. Minor corrections and alterations to the score have been made without comment. There are no dynamics in the original.

According to the Book of Common Prayer, the Cantate Domino (Psalm 98) and Deus Misereatur (Psalm 67) may be sung as an alternative to the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis at Evening Prayer, except when either features as the appointed psalm for that evening. Each work may, of course, also be sung individually as an anthem.

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Almighty God Thomas Ford

This piece appears in an anthology of poetry by Sir William Leighton, The Teares or Lamentacions of a Sorrowfull Soule, printed in 1614. (British Library K.1.i.9.) Each poem is set to music by a different composer, including William Byrd, Thomas Ford, and Leighton himself. The first verse is laid to the music, and the following verses printed as text, much as in a hymnal. This work is usually published without the second and third verses.

The music includes tablature for lute, cittern and bandora. Viols and a flute double the vocal parts as follows:

Cantus with a treble viol, lute
Altus with a flute, cittern
Tenor with bandora
Bassus with a bass viol

Note values have been halved and presented at original pitch. Small accidentals are used to indicate editorial accidentals; the implicit cancellation of an accidental in the source; and musica ficta. Barlines and cautionary accidentals (shown in brackets) are editorial.

The first repeat and the first time bar (bar 5) are editorial. The first time bar follows previous editions, but the original Cantus part is as the second time bar (bar 6). Performers may choose to include the first repeat, or to ignore it. The repeat from bars 11 to 15 occurs in the original, and has been written out in full.

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Lord, I am not high-minded Richard Hutchinson

This is Hutchinson's shortest but most successful composition. The humble reproachful nature of the text is excellently captured in the opening verse section for solo tenor. The first of three verse sections has an ornamental cadence which makes rare use of the semiquaver, and suggests that other solos may have been ornamented at the discretion of the singer.
The verses are more expressive than the choruses, which are short and a little ‘stiff’. There is a textual discrepancy in the second chorus, with most books giving yea my soul is like a weaned child, and a couple yea my soul is ev'n as... In the final chorus, the medius part divides and the altos unite, retaining the five-part texture. The Amen includes a startling false relation, involving a clash of two beats' duration of minor/major third. Alarming as it sounds, it cannot be explained as a scribal error, as several manuscripts are involved, and in each case a written accidental appears before the note in question.
As Lord, I am not high-minded was included in the original corpus of 16th-century anthems at Durham, a date of composition no later than 1630 can be deduced.

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Antonio Lotti

Editorial notes for the complete range of music by Lotti published by Ancient Groove Music may be found here. This includes motets, masses and concert works for choir and orchestra.

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Eheu! Sustulerunt Dominum Thomas Morley

Motet for Easter Day. This piece appears as an example of composition in Thomas Morley's A Plain and Easy Introduction to Practical Music, published in 1597. Note values have been halved and the music transposed up a tone. Small accidentals are used to indicate the implicit cancellation of an accidental in the source and musica ficta. Barlines and cautionary accidentals (shown in brackets) are editorial. The text is based upon John 20:13, where Mary Magdalene speaks of the missing body of Jesus from the tomb, at the resurrection.

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Burial Sentences Thomas Morley

Perhaps the destruction during the Civil War and Commonwealth can account for the lack of contemporary sources of this well-loved collection of short pieces. However, it is more curious that the earliest complete sources date from the 18th century. There is only one 16th-century Tenor part book in existence, in which the composer is not stated. Morley is credited as the composer by the time of the Restoration, however, scholars continue to debate whether it really is his work.

Cathedral Music, by William Boyce, 1760
BL Harley 7337, by Thomas Tudway, 1715
BL Additional 17842 by William Walond, 1777
BL Additional 5054 by Henry Needler, pre-1760

Of all the sentences, Thou knowest, Lord, is the most likely to be apocryphal. The music does not seem consistent with the style of the remainder, and the phrase 'suffer us not' has a tellingly baroque chromaticism. This sentence is also absent from some of the sources. What is more, the Tenor part book has a different, incompatible setting of this text, which may be all that remains of the original. (Reconstruction of the other three parts from the one tenor line is left as an exercise for the reader!)

Obviously, the music was originally set to the text of the Edwardian Prayer Book of 1559. However, the sources use the text of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, taken from the King James Bible. These different attempts to fit the text to the music have met with varying degrees of success. This edition attempts to re-set the original text to the music. The syllabic differences are greatest in the sentences I know that my Redeemer and We brought nothing. For that reason, the underlay and some note division in those sentences is conjectural.

Note values have been halved and the music transposed up a tone. Small, bracketed accidentals are cautionary. All other accidentals appear full size, and represent a conflation of the sources and editorial speculation. Small notes are editorial.

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O Lord the maker William Mundy

As with so much of Mundy's music, the attribution is questionable. Whilst the text is from the King's Primer of 1545, the earliest music sources date from 1625, some thirty-five years after Mundy's death. British Library MS Harley 7339, dated 1716, claims that the piece was 'composed first in Latin by Henry viii and sung in his own Royall Chappell' although the scribe, Thomas Tudway, may be giving a confused account of the text. Manuscripts, dated 1664, of music sung at Durham Cathedral, (Additional 30478-9) attribute the work to John Sheppard; however Mundy is clearly given credit in a Durham Cathedral Library organ book of 1635.

Thomas Tudway's score of 1716 was copied from a Chapel Royal source which no longer survives. William Mundy became a Gentleman of St George's Chapel in 1564, during the reign of Elizabeth I, and may well have composed the work there, given the text's association with her father. (However, if Mundy did produce this piece in Henry's time, then he would have done so rather impressively when he was still Head Chorister at Westminster Abbey in his late teens.)

BL Additional 29289, dated 1625, includes a second Alto part for the last seven bars. The initial phrase completes the canon throughout the parts, but is most likely to be a seventeenth century addition, as the music for "be laud and praise" is clumsy, all the notes being covered by other parts. The Amen similarly adds to the harmony initially, then covers the original alto part in the last two bars.

Also shown in Add. 29289 and other manuscripts are antiphonal indications for Decani and Cantoris. In some of the later sources, a repeat is indicated. Both of these indications are shown in this edition, but should by no means be considered obligatory. Slur markings are editorial. The lower three parts in bar 45 are editorial, as is the last alto note in bar 42, original a third lower.

O Lord, the maker of all thing,
We praie Thee nowe in this evening
Us to defende through Thy mercie
From all deceite of our enemie.
Let neither us deluded be,
Good Lord, with dream or fantasie;
Our harts waking in Thee Thou keepe
That we in sinne fall not on sleepe.
O father, through Thy blessed sonne,
Grant us this our petition,
To whom, with the Holy Ghost alwaies,
In heaven and earthe be laud and praise

The King's Primer, 1545

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Evening Service for Men William Mundy

Sources: Peterhouse College, Cambridge: MSS 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 42 ,43 and one unnumbered MS.
Durham Cathedral : MS a . 3.

Transposed up a minor third: note values halved. Small accidentals are editorial. Small notes are those not in the part-books but in the Durham organ book. Part allocation is taken from each part-book's title.

It is not known which of the Mundy family composed this setting and the morning service which accompanies it; the sources only give the author's name as 'Mr Mundy'. It has been thought to be possibly the work of William Mundy's father, Thomas, or, although more unlikely, William's son John. Although we cannot be certain without new evidence, it is stylistically most in keeping with the work of William Mundy.

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First & Second Mass Upon The Square William Mundy

Sources: British Library, Additional MSS 17802-17805: the Gyffard partbooks, thought to date from c. 1570, though the music itself dates from the reign of Queen Mary (1553-1558).

These fine works have been unfairly neglected, possibly because the four parts require exceptional vocal ranges. The music in the partbooks regularly changes clef and lies within such a wide range that it calls into question the notion that only one singer was intended to read from each part.

Although no more than four voices sing at any time, most of the sections are for three voices in a variety of combinations.

Laying out the music of each book in a separate stave produces a score that is awkward and uncomfortable for most singers, if not impossible. However, if the music is laid out on a separate stave for each clef, then a more balanced and performable score is produced. In addition, some passages clearly seem more appropriate if moved to a different vocal part, regardless of clef.

This new edition hopes to make the works more accessible to performers, while avoiding any alteration of Mundy's exquisite music.

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Improperia (Popule meus) Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina AND Tomás Luis de Victoria

Victoria's setting of Popule meus contains so many similarities to Palestrina's setting, that it could be thought of as a revision, rather than a new work. Furthermore, Victoria only sets the opening sentence and responses, while sources of Palestrina's setting include music for several of the verses.

This edition combines Palestrina's music from Vatican sources (including an autograph manuscript) with Victoria's setting from his 1585 publication. The result is a surprisingly coherent work, which will be useful to church musicians in the liturgy for Good Friday.

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Fratres ego enim accepi Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

For double SATB choir.
Source: British Library G.509 and H.790
Note values have been halved and the music transposed down a tone. Barlines, small and bracketed accidentals are editorial. Small accidentals are used to show extended or reduced validity of source accidentals, and musica ficta. Bracketed accidentals are cautionary. Some underlay is editorial.

Brothers, for I have also received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you: that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread,
and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said: Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
1 Corinthians 11:23-24

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Stabat mater dolorosa Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

For double SATB choir.
Source: British Library G.509 and H.790
Several variations to the text exist, and this edition conforms to the Analecta version of the poem.

Note values have been halved and the music presented at original pitch. Barlines, small and bracketed accidentals are editorial. Small accidentals are used to show extended or reduced validity of source accidentals, and musica ficta. Bracketed accidentals are cautionary. Some underlay is editorial.

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Almighty and Everlasting God William Smith

17th century verse anthem, with two 'duelling' Countertenor soli. Edited by Dr. Simon J. Anderson from manuscripts in Durham Cathedral Library. Transposed up a minor third, with original note values. Small notes and bracketed accidentals are editorial. The text is taken from a collect for Candlemas / The Presentation of Christ at the Temple / Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

William Smith is best known for his setting of the Preces and Responses.

Almighty and everlasting God,
We humbly beseech thy Majesty,
That, as thy only-begotten Son was this day
Presented in the temple in substance of our flesh,
So we may may be presented unto thee
With pure and clean hearts,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for the Purification of the Virgin Mary, 1549.

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Mass for four voices Thomas Tallis

SOURCES: British Library MS Additional 17802-17805 (the 'Gyffard' partbooks) a set of late sixteenth century part books, where it is described as “mass without a name” in the catalogue. The music starts on the following folios: i, f.72b; ii. f.68b; iii, f.71; iv, 66b.

PITCH: As with much music of the period, the question of transposition and part allocation is not without difficulty. At original pitch, nearly all the parts sit low in the range of today’s voices, and it is unlikely that the music would have actually been performed thus. This edition gives a ‘compromise’ pitch of a minor third upwards, which offers the least bad placing of voices. (Key signatures in flats also lend themselves well to the correct display of source accidentals.) This leads to a part allocation of Alto, Tenor 1, Tenor 2 (or Baritone) and Bass. Conductors should feel free to transpose the piece for comfort. If suitable forces are willing, the piece could even be transposed up a tone or two from written pitch and sung as SATB.

EDITORIAL METHOD: Note values have been halved. There are almost no accidentals in the original, and so all accidentals should be considered editorial.

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Salvator mundi 1 Thomas Tallis

This is the opening work of the famous 1575 collection of sacred motets by William Byrd and Thomas Tallis, Cantiones sacrae. It is also one of two settings of this text by Tallis in the collection.

Notes values have been halved, and the music transposed up a tone. Barlines, small and bracketed accidentals are editorial. Small accidentals are used to show extended or reduced validity of source accidentals, and musica ficta. Bracketed accidentals are cautionary. All other accidentals are as in the original, except in the Superius part, where written F sharps in this edition are stated in the source by the key signature, which is different from that of the other parts. Repeat marks in the underlay have been filled in. The music should be performed SAATB.

We have also produced a free edition, in a revolutionary, experimental notation framework. Notation symbols that are characteristic of the original 16th-century publication have been presented in a modern score layout, with regular, proportional music spacing and modern clef conventions, while maintaining original note values and a lack of barring. It is hoped that this format will allow those familiar with the work in modern notation to gain some familiarity with conventions of the original notation.

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Salvator mundi 2 Thomas Tallis

This is the twenty-first work in the famous 1575 collection of sacred motets by Byrd and Tallis, Cantiones sacrae. It is also one of two settings of this text by Tallis, the other one being the first piece in the same collection. It is notable for a canon between the Treble and Tenor line, running through the entire piece.

Notes values have been halved, and the music transposed up a tone. Barlines, small and bracketed accidentals are editorial. Small accidentals are used to show reduced or extended validity of source accidentals, and musica ficta; bracketed accidentals are cautionary. The music should be performed SATTB.

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Dum Transsiset Sabbatum  John Taverner

Motet for Easter Day. Sources are from Christ Church Oxford, MSS 979–83; 984–88.

Note values have been halved and the music transposed up a tone. The original clefs are g2, c2, c4, c4, f4. Barlines, small and bracketed accidentals are editorial. Small accidentals are used to show reduced or extended validity of source accidentals, and musica ficta. Bracketed accidentals are cautionary.

The plainsong is taken from the Sarum Missal, as are the repeat indications. The text is the third responsory at Matins on Easter Day.

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Quemadmodum desiderat cervus  John Taverner

This work exists in only four sources: Ch.Ch. 979-83; Essex Record Office D/DP Z6/1; BL Add. 31390; Tenbury MS 389 - all of which present the music for viols, with no underlay. However, all are titled with the word Quemadmodum, and this has led many to believe that the text of Vulgate Psalm 41 can be fitted to the music. A great many vocal works of the time, written for church services, found their way into viol table books, without the words that they originally contained.

In Music & Letters, Vol. VI, No.4 in 1925, the scholar H. B. Collins writes: Though the words are unfortunately wanting, there can be no doubt that the piece is a setting of the first two verses of Ps. 41; and an examination of the motives enables us to trace ... the allocation of the text.

This edition is based upon BL Add. 31390. Note values are halved and the music transposed up a minor third. Bracketed accidentals are editorial. The underlay is entirely editorial.

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks,
so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for the strong, living God.
When shall I come to appear before the face of God?

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Evening Services  Thomas Tomkins

The posthumous anthology of Tomkins' church music, Musica Deo Sacra, published in 1668, contains five settings of the Evening Service (and matching canticles for Matins). The first two are for SATB choir with Decani and Cantoris antiphony; the remaining three are in the 'Verse' style of solo passages accompanied by organ, followed by chorus sections. The Third Service is sometimes known as Tomkins' Great Service, as it is the lengthiest and requires SSAATTBB chorus and soloists; the First Service is sometimes known as the Short Service.

However, the 17th-century publication is often careless: there are frequent mistakes and inconsistencies between the parts; and the supposedly standard text of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis also shows variation from one setting to another, and between the parts of the same work. E.g. 'hath rejoiced' / 'rejoiceth'; 'forefathers' / 'father'; 'and his seed' / 'and to his seed'. Words such as 'spirit' and 'throughout' are set to varying numbers of syllables in the same work. Divisi passages are displayed on one staff with some confusion. The editor must do his best to apply consistency and correct mistakes, without getting too carried away in the desire to 'perfect' the music. Luckily, some of the music can be found in other manuscript sources, and the differences between the manuscripts and the print can inform the entire collection.

There is also the perennial question of finding a suitable pitch for the music, particularly in the Contratenor lines of the Verse settings. Some phrases are better suited to altos than tenors; and other phrases more comfortable for tenors than altos. If given to the tenors, then the altos are left jobless, (and the tenors over-stretched across four parts). The traditional transposition up a minor third is becoming less academically fashionable. The editions are presented either in original pitch or up a tone, with some verse sections re-allocated to either Tenor or Contratenor.

We are pleased to announce editions of all five settings of the Evening Service. This series aims to be a set of editions for performance, while also providing performers with all the information about the source material for them to make informed performance decisions.

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St John Passion  Tomás Luis de Victoria

Note values have been halved and the music transposed down a tone.
Source: Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae 1585

Victoria’s superb fauxbourdon setting of the story of Jesus’s prosecution and crucifixion is a piece of musical theatre. Taking his cue from the plainsong, where the words of different speakers are intoned differently, he dramatises the story by having the various ‘crowds’ in the story sung as choral parts.

The original music was set to the Latin Vulgate, and the major editorial task is setting English text to the notes. This was first achieved in 1931 by Francis Burgess, in his edition for the Plainchant Publications Committee. That publication was plagued by misprints in both music and text (“I thrist”) and suffers from a lack of legibility caused by long note values set in short score.

This edition takes its lead from that of Burgess, but has gone back to Victoria’s original music, matching the original phrasing schemes more closely, wherever possible. Four different English language translations of the Bible were considered for best fit, and, in consultation with various interested parties, the Authorised Version was chosen. In contrast to Burgess, final ‘-ed’ syllables are not voiced.

The most problematic phrase is “Away with him, away with him”, which must be fitted into the Latin of “Tolle, tolle”. Here, the fauxbourdon has been extended to account for the extra syllables. Only the last two bars of this phrase were in Victoria’s original; this music has been duplicated to incorporate the extra syllables.

The plainchant sections should be sung in speech rhythm, freely. The use of crotchets should not be thought of as a note double that of the quavers, but simply weightier and longer by a discernable value.

This edition provides both the full version, starting at John ch.18 v.1, and also makes provision for the short version, which consists of John ch.19 vv.1-37.

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