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First Great Service / Respond for the Dead

Robert Parsons Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Price: $11.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2007 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2007 $11.20  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Magnificat14:34Album Only
listen  2. First Great Service: Venite 5:21$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. First Great Service: Te Deum 8:08Album Only
listen  4. Responds for the Dead: Responds for the Dead: Peccantem me, quotidie 4:12$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. First Great Service: First Great Service: Benedictus 8:01Album Only
listen  6. Responds for the Dead: Responds for the Dead: Libera me, Domine 6:44$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. First Great Service: First Great Service: Creed 5:34$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Responds for the Dead: Responds for the Dead: Credo quod redemptor 3:28$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. First Great Service: Magnificat 5:17$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. First Great Service: Nunc dimittis 2:45$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Ave Maria 5:33$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 11, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000Y1BQX0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,192 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This recording aims to provide Robert Parsons, who died tragically in his forties, with a memorial service he never received and aid his return to a place alongside the greatest English Renaissance composers. Movements from the First Great Service, scored

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Parsons Project June 5, 2010
By Qwerty
Format:MP3 Music
Sixteenth century England was a tough place to be a composer of sacred music. If you lived between 1520 and 1580, the religious allegiance of your boss, the reigning King or Queen of England, changed at a dizzying pace -- from Catholicism (early Henry VIII) to Protestantism (later Henry VIII and the youthful Edward VI) back to Catholicism (Mary I)and back, yet again, to Protestantism (Elizabeth I). To stay gainfully employed, you had to be able to change styles from the more ornate polyphony and Latin texts of the Catholic periods to the more simplified choral style and English texts during the Protestant times.

Robert Parsons worked in the heart of these turbulent times. In the early 1550s, his First "Great" Service was one of the first complete settings of the brand new 1549 English-based Book of Common Prayer, which replaced the old Latin-based Serum Rite. He set Latin texts to music during the reign of Mary I. He was then appointed as a Gentleman to the Chapel Royal in 1563 during Elizabeth I's reign. After his death under suspicious circumstances in 1572 (he allegedly fell into the River Trent and drowned), he was succeeded by William Byrd, and his music fell into obscurity.

This program features the Great Service, a number of pieces from the Responds for the Dead, a setting of the Latin-text Magnificat, and the Latin-text Ave Maria. It is performed by Voces Cantabiles, an English chamber choir formed in 2003 by ex-choristers of Westminster Abbey.

For both the music and the performance, this disc is highly recommended. Parson's choral polyphony is in the same league as his comtemporaries Tallis, Byrd, and Sheppard. The 22-member Voces Cantabiles sings in a style and with technical ability similar to the more established group, The Sixteen. The sound is bright and the lines are clear, with just the right touch of resonance for cathedral music of this type. The Naxos engineers did an excellent job with the recorded sound.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting September 15, 2008
Format:Audio CD
A good deal of lovely polyphonic music performed very well. This work shows the hybrid quality of the English Reformation nicely. The musical style is continuous with traditional forms and methods of composition. The liturgy, however, of the First Great Service, is the English of the Book of Common Prayer. New wine in old bottles, indeed.
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