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Hilton: Evening Canticles: Short Service ('in Gamut')

Hilton: Evening Canticles: Short Service ('in Gamut')

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Choral leaflet

£2.10

Publisher: Cathedral Press
ISBN: CP43

The Service 'in Gamut' survives uniquely in a score dated 1814. According to JohnS Bumpus in his A History of English Cathedral Music, 1549-1889 (1908), its scribe, Richard Clark (1780-1856), was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and later sang in the choirs of St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. A note on the opening page of the score records that it was assembled from early partbooks, as is confirmed by the inclusion of the 'mezzo soprano' clef which was virtually obsolete by the early nineteenth century. The setting comprises four movements: Te Deum laudamus, Benedictus and Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis. Richard Clark evidently adapted the textual underlay here and there to reflect (then) current taste, so the editor has revised these passages to accord with practice in Hilton's day (for details, see page 13). The setting may be performed with or without the editorial organ part.

The Evening Canticles display post-Elizabethan tonal features, notably (but not exclusively) in the final verse and opening of the Gloria Patri of both movements, where the music takes on 'dominant' major tonality. Like many short services of the period, Hilton's setting is mainly homophonic, but the concluding 'Amen' in both canticles affords an opportunity for some contrapuntal freedom.

This edition marks the first appearance of the Evening Canticles from John Hilton's Service 'in Gamut' in print.