Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Thu, 28 May 2020 18:04:36 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Gibbons - Anthems & Verse Anthems (1999) Gibbons - Anthems & Verse Anthems (1999)

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[01] Hosanna to the son of David              2'44 
[02] Sing unto the Lord                       5'55
[03] This is the record of John               4'18
[04] If ye be risen again with Christ         4'47
[05] O Lord, in thy wrath rebuke me not       3'50

Second Evening Service 
[06] Magnificat                               6'10
[07] Nunc dimittis                            3'22

[08] Behold, thou hast made my days           4'33   
[09] O God, the king of glory                 4'13
[10] Glorious and powerful God                5'10
[11] Fantasia in A minor (organ solo)         5'07
[12] O clap your hands                        5'32 
[13] Thou God of wisdom                       5'49  
[14] Blessed are all they that fear the Lord  4'42
[15] Great king of gods                       4'43

Robin Blaze - countertenor
Stephen Varcoe – baritone
Stephen Farr, Sarah Baldock - organ
Winchester Cathedral Choir
David Hill – conductor

Recorded in Winchester Cathedral on 28-30 April 1999


Orlando Gibbons was one of the most important English composers of the early 17th-century. He was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge, and later became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, which he served as an organist and to which he later added the position of organist at Westminster Abbey.

He wrote forty anthems including the well-known This is the record of John—here sung by the brilliant young countertenor Robin Blaze—and is still regarded as one the of the great masters of the 'verse' anthem. A good example of a 'verse' anthem is Hosanna to the son of David where solos for one or more voices are repeated and reinforced with short choral passages. The 'full' anthem on the other hand does not use solo voices, as illustrated by the eight-voiced O clap your hands. ---


Only three of Gibbons’s verse anthems are scored for a single soloist. Two of them included here (This is the record of John and Behold, thou hast made my days) have the solo in the alto part, the voice most commonly written for among all the verse parts. The alto voice is also the one most frequently divided in the five-part textures of the choruses. Of the remaining verse anthems here, Glorious and powerful God features an alto-and-bass duet throughout the verse sections, while others use contrasting groups of soloists. For several of the anthems there are extant viol accompaniments which, given the total lack of evidence that these were ever used in church, may mean that secular performance was considered an alternative. This might point to the origin of some of the anthems not being entirely liturgical.

One anthem which clearly belongs outside the church, but which has here been given a religious sheen by performing its accompaniment on the organ, is Great king of gods. The main basis for its inclusion is its quality, and that it is otherwise left ‘stranded’ in the repertoire. It is an occasional piece written for the visit King James I paid to Scotland, amidst much local opposition, in 1617. Philip Brett has conjectured that it was given as the king arrived at Holyrood Palace, his entire Chapel Royal having travelled there from London by ship. In the 1870s a more directly ecclesiastical text, ‘Great Lord of Lords’ was substituted.

There are two settings of the evening canticles. The First or Short Service (not recorded here) is almost entirely homophonic and for full choir, whereas the Second Evening Service is an elaborate setting with numerous verses. The edition used has been prepared mainly from the version published in John Barnard’s compilation Selected Church Music of 1641. There are instances where this source does not include all the voices in the verses seen in other editions. At ‘for behold from henceforth’ the tenor, which has been known to modern editions since the 1920s, may be spurious; at the opening of the Nunc dimittis there has been an additional even more questionable treble part derived from the organ. The textual underlay, which E H Fellowes sought to modernize, has been restored and, in general, the organ accompaniments are heard in these recordings without the dubious benefit of the considerable accretions and ‘imitative ingenuity’ applied in his editions some seventy-five years ago.

The variety of texture and compositional devices in the verse anthems show Gibbons at his best, although his stature in this field has grown largely in the past forty years. Perhaps Fellowes’s readiness to adjust and ‘improve’ was because he originally held Gibbons’s full anthems to be superior, the verse anthems at ‘a decidedly lower level’. But the verse style was a product of its age and Gibbons its main exponent. Had he not died young, as John Harley has remarked, Gibbons’s innovation might have come to have been more directly influential. As it was, the verse anthem form itself, through Henry Purcell, Maurice Greene and William Boyce, became the basis of many cathedral anthems for a century and a half after Gibbons. In 1636, in his Principles of musik, Charles Butler was able to enthuse on the verse style: ‘a solemn Anthem, wherein a sweet melodious treble, or countertenor, singeth single, and the full quire answereth (much more when two such single voices, and two quires interchangeably reply one to another, and at the last close all together) … maketh such a heavenly harmony, as is pleasing unto God and Man’. --- Andrew Parker, Hyperion

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]]> (bluesever) Gibbons Orlando Sat, 25 Nov 2017 15:22:46 +0000
Orlando Gibbons - Fantasias & The Cries of London (1996) Orlando Gibbons - Fantasias & The Cries of London (1996)

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01 - Fantasia in 6 parts
02 - Fantasia in 3 parts
03 - Fantasia in 3 parts
04 - Fantasia in 6 parts
05 - Go from my window in 6 parts
06 - Prelude & Ground for organ
07 - Galliard in 3 parts
08 - Fantasia in 3 parts for the 'Great Dooble Base'
09 - Fantasia in 4 parts for the 'Great Dooble Base'
10 - Fantasia in 2 parts
11 - Fantasia in 3 parts
12 - Fantasia in 3 parts
13 - Fantasia in 6 parts
14 - Fantasia in 3 parts for the 'Great Dooble Base'
15 - Fantasia for the organ
16 - In Nomine in 5 parts
17 - The Cries of London (Part I)
18 - The Cries of London (Part II) play
19 - In Nomine in 4 parts

Fretwork with Red Byrd - tenor, Paul Nicholson - organ
Fretwork is a consort of viols based in England, United Kingdom. Formed in 1986,
the group consisted of six players. Its repertoire consists primarily of music of the Renaissance period,
in particular that of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, arrangements of the music of Johann
Sebastian Bach, and contemporary music written for them.

Orlando Gibbons (baptised 25 December 1583 – 5 June 1625) was an English composer, virginalist and organist of the late Tudor and early Jacobean periods. He was a leading composer in the England of his day. Gibbons wrote a quantity of keyboard works, around thirty fantasias for viols, a number of madrigals (the best-known being "The Silver Swan"), and many popular verse anthems. His choral music is distinguished by his complete mastery of counterpoint, combined with his wonderful gift for melody. Perhaps his most well known verse anthem is This is the record of John, which sets an Advent text for solo countertenor or tenor, alternating with full chorus. The soloist is required to demonstrate considerable technical facility at points, and the work at once expresses the rhetorical force of the text, whilst never being demonstrative or bombastic. He also produced two major settings of Evensong, the Short Service and the Second Service. The former includes a beautifully expressive Nunc dimittis, while the latter is an extended composition, combining verse and full sections. Gibbons's full anthems include the expressive O Lord, in thy wrath, and the Ascension Day anthem O clap your hands together for eight voices. He contributed six pieces to the first printed collection of keyboard music in England, Parthenia (to which he was by far the youngest of the three contributors), published in about 1611.

Gibbons's surviving keyboard output comprises some 45 pieces. The polyphonic fantasia and dance forms are the best represented genres. Gibbons's writing exhibits full mastery of three- and four-part counterpoint. Most of the fantasias are complex, multisectional pieces, treating multiple subjects imitatively. Gibbons's approach to melody in both fantasias and dances features a capability for almost limitless development of simple musical ideas, on display in works such as Pavane in D minor and Lord Salisbury's Pavan and Galliard.

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]]> (bluesever) Gibbons Orlando Sun, 13 Mar 2011 10:12:56 +0000
Orlando Gibbons - With a Merrie Noyse (Second Service & Consort Anthems) (2003) Orlando Gibbons - With a Merrie Noyse (Second Service & Consort Anthems) (2003)

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1 	This is a record of John 	4:18
2 	Almighty and everlasting God 	2:21
3 	A Voluntary 	2:08
4 	Te Deum 	10:47
5 	Jubilate 	4:21
6 	Hymns and Songs for the Church: Song 1 	1:19
7 	A Fancy for Double Organ 	5:41
8 	Hymns and Songs for the Church: Song 9 	0:56
9 	Magnificat 	6:06
10 	Nune dimittis 	3:30
11 	O clap your hands together 	5:48
12 	Great King of Gods 	4:25
13 	See, see, the Word is incarnate 	6:17

Baritone Vocals – Peter Harvey (tracks: 4,5,9,10,13)
Bass Vocals – Stephen Connolly (2) (tracks: 4,10,12,13)
Choir – Magdalen College Choir Oxford
Countertenor Vocals – Rogers Covey-Crump (tracks: 1,4,5,10,12,13), Steven Harrold (tracks: 4,5,9,10,12,13)
Music Director – Bill Ives
Organ – Jonathan Hardy (tracks: 3,7)
Treble Vocals – Michael Hickman (tracks: 4,5,9,10,13), Robi Bhattacharya (tracks: 4,5,9,10),
 William Harpin (tracks: 4,5,9,10,13), William Roome (tracks: 4,5,9,10)
Viol – Julia Hodgson, Richard Boothby, Richard Campbell, Susanna Pell, William Hunt


Several recordings have recently explored the largely neglected work of English composer Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625). But it is fitting that With a Merrie Noyse has been the one to receive a Grammy award nomination, for Best Small Ensemble Performance, in 2004. This U.S. industry award tends to be bestowed on good collaborations, and With a Merrie Noyse effectively brings together top forces from different areas of the early music community in an exploration of Gibbons' sacred music.

First there is the venerable Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford, where Gibbons never went out of style. They offer the Gibbons Second Service as well as anthems and other shorter choral pieces, interspersed with organ works. With its configuration, unchanged for centuries, of 16 boy singers and 12 adult men, the choir has this music bred in the bone and delivers clear, natural shapings of Gibbons' English texts. Works such as See, the Word is incarnate, with their Italian-madrigalian sense of text expression, come off beautifully here. Solo parts in the Second Service are taken by a quartet of top-notch singers, including countertenor Rogers Covey-Crump. And finally there is the viol consort Fretwork, which has been especially active in performing and recording music from this general time period. These are diverse talents, but they are brought together under the leadership of choir director Bill Ives in performances that beautifully realize this quintessentially English, and quintessentially Anglican, sacred music by a composer who took what he needed from wherever he could find it to form a style that proved the basis for England's distinctive local variant of Baroque style. ---James Manheim, AllMusic Review


How can you go wrong with Fretwork and Orlando Gibbons? You can’t–and when you add the bright, resonant sonority and consummate style of Oxford’s Choir of Magdalen College, you’ve got something really special, a celebration of great music and first-rate music making. In this case it’s a program of some of Gibbons’ most important and best-known church music, recorded in a way that faithfully captures the Magdalen chapel’s acoustics and gives scintillating presence to voices and instruments. Right from the beginning–the classic verse-anthem This is the record of John–we’re treated to the full magnificence of Gibbons’ style, from the expressive countertenor solos to the lush choral passages and the overall text-affirming harmonic framework. Unlike most recordings of this repertoire, this one incorporates a viol consort–arguably the composer’s intention–into the mix. Rather than a routine matter of doubling voices, evidence shows that Gibbons constructed independent instrumental parts, both in imitative counterpoint and in homophonic accompaniment. The effect not only is sonically marvelous but the additional layers of texture and color elevate the music to a level that’s both exhilarating and profoundly moving. (The Winchester Cathedral recording on Hyperion uses only organ, but the very full, resonant acoustic and spaciousness to the choral singing nevertheless makes an impressive statement.)

All of the works on this disc show evidence of Gibbons’ genius, specifically the careful planning of counterpoint to support text, to preserve harmonic stability and balance, and to create powerful, arching dynamic structures, this alternating with solo-voice passages and stretches of solid homophonic blocks of sound for choir and/or instruments. Among the defining masterpieces such as the Second Service (particularly the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis), This is the record of John, and the full anthem Almighty and everlasting God, we’re also treated to hymns such as Song 1 (here set to its original text) and, for me the highlight of the disc, the verse anthem Great King of Gods, a glorious masterpiece of choral writing and sacred text-setting that gives a good name to all the church music of this period and place.

The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford and Fretwork give sumptuous, vital performances that capture the essence of Gibbons’ unique, harmonically rich music, and the solo singing–especially from the countertenors and trebles–is nothing short of wonderful. After years of listening to and performing Gibbons’ church music, I can truly say that at last here’s a recording that does full justice to these splendid yet often routinely rendered scores, and although it may be too early to make such pronouncements, this definitely is a disc-of-the-year contender. ---David Vernier,

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]]> (bluesever) Gibbons Orlando Tue, 05 Feb 2019 16:21:48 +0000