Of the surviving such services of the Edwardian and early Elizabethan periods, Shepherd contributed five, Parsons four and Mundy at least five as well as three more modest settings for men's voices. Some, ascribed only to 'Mundy', have occasionally been attributed to his son, John (c.1555-1630), but on stylistic grounds all are probably by Mundy père. Shepherd died within a few months of Elizabeth taking the throne so most, if not all, of his services must have been written during the Edwardian period; as the senior composer of the three, he can be regarded as the leading pioneer of the genre. It is just possible, though unlikely, that one or two services by Parsons or Mundy may date from this time. Although in the Elizabethan era and beyond these settings might also have been performed at other major musical foundations, including Durham, York, Lincoln, Salisbury, Canterbury, and St Paul's Cathedral, London, this is unlikely due to puritanical constraints, although they may have been sung in the Royal foundations at Windsor and Westminster Abbey. In Stuart times, a more favourable climate saw the introduction of such services at Durham, York and (later) Peterhouse, Cambridge - and possibly elsewhere. They evidently made an impression on the young William Byrd whose so-called 'Great' Service, probably written in the 1590s, was followed by similarly extended settings by Hooper, Tomkins, Weelkes and Adrian Batten.
The Evening Service 'in C fa ut' is ascribed simply to 'Mr Mundy' in the sources, but on stylistic grounds (see above) it is almost certainly by William Mundy. Ligatures in several Peterhouse books bear this out; they had effectively fallen into disuse some time before 1600 so the parts were evidently copied from early ones. The Service demonstrates a distinct feeling of post-modal tonality, including transitory 'modulations', while imitative counterpoint, sequential development, antiphony and canonic writing (bars 22-34 of the Nunc Dimittis) are among its other notable features. The Service may be performed with or without the organ part.
This edition marks the first appearance in modern edition of Mundy's Evening Service 'in C fa ut'.
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