Although the Verse Service was not published in East's day it clearly owes much to his printed sacred music. The choruses are scored, exceptionally, for SSATB rather than the normal SAATB, the incipits to the main sections are unusually long (recalling the printed anthems) and there are examples of 'madrigalian' word-painting (eg the flourish on the word 'rejoiceth'). The organ part has not survived and so has been reconstructed. By a coincidence the opening bars (7- 14, first beat) of the first vocal duet of the Magnificat are musically virtually identical with the first duet from East's verse anthem 'How shall a young man cleanse his waies?' which appeared in The Sixt [sic] Set of Bookes (1624). So the instrumental material of the first fourteen bars (to the first beat) of this anthem has been transcribed, with a modification in bars 10-12 (see page 35), with the part-writing indicated. The Service uses the same fine 'Amen' to end both canticles, recalling this striking feature in Gibbons' Second (Verse) Service.
The second 'alto' verse in bars 99-108 does not appear in the Peterhouse manuscripts but occurs in Lichfield MS 116 - a tenor part. In character and range the solo complements the first alto (but lies awkwardly for a tenor), so it has been reassigned by the editor. This edition marks the first appearance of East's Verse Service in print.
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