The Chirk Castle manuscripts contain a significant number of short four and five-part anthems, which would have admirably suited the small choral forces employed in the chapel but could also have been used as music for domestic devotion. The majority of these anthems date from the mid-sixteenth century, and their inclusion may well also be an indication of the old-fashioned repertoire in use at Wrexham Parish Church, where the organist at Chirk Castle's chapel, William Deane, also served.
Not everyone that sayeth unto me is unique to the Chirk collection, where it follows the Creed of Tallis's Short Service in the part-books and is marked 'Offertory'. The anthem consists of just two short phrases and presents a setting of one of the Offertory Sentences to the Communion Service, which follow the sermon. The rubric from the 1549 Book of Common Prayer reads thus: 'Then shall follow for the offertory, one or more of these Sentences of holy scripture, to be sung while the people do offer, or else one of them to be said by the minister, immediately afore the offering'. Although its authenticity has recently been questioned, the suave harmony employed is characteristic of Tallis himself. There is also some doubt concerning the authenticity of Out from the deep, a metrical setting of Psalm 130, but although it is assigned to William Parsons in two part-books at Gloucester Cathedral, the uniquely complete version in the Chirk manuscripts is credited to Tallis. The work is cast in an ABB form: a structure beloved by composers of the Edwardian period. Two passages of this anthem (the endings of each of the 'B' sections) have rather unsatisfactory voice-leading in the alto part, which seems to indicate that some re-arrangement (by someone other than the composer) had taken place at these points in order to maintain four parts throughout. The present editor has attempted to restore these passages to what may have been their original five-part scoring.
If ye love me, scored for SATB, provides a most effective alternative to the setting by Tallis (usually heard today in a less satisfactory upward transposition of the original scoring for men's voices), also in ABB form. This well-crafted miniature is similarly reverential in tone, and can serve as a short anthem or an introit for most seasons of the ecclesiastical calendar.
- Additional Information
Catalogue No. CP113 Publisher Cathedral Press Contents No