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ORLANDO GIBBONS  

(1583 - 1625)

Orlando Gibbons belongs to the generation of English composers which followed that of William Byrd, 40 years his senior, who died in 1623. He was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where his elder brother was Master of the Choristers, 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 music for the Church of England, madrigals, consort music and keyboard works.

Church Music

Gibbons wrote some 40 anthems. Of these the verse anthem This is the record of John is one of the best known. The verse anthem, a peculiarly Anglican form of church music, contrasts a solo voice with passages for full choir; other fine examples from Gibbons include the Christmas anthem Behold, I bring you glad tidings, Glorious and powerful God and Sing unto the Lord, o ye saints. The eight-voice full anthem O clap your hands is a noteworthy example of another form of anthem, without the use of solo voices. Other full anthems include Hosanna to the son of David and Lift up your heads.

Secular Vocal Music

The most famous of all the madrigals Gibbons wrote is The silver swanne, included in the only collection published by the composer, The First Set of Madrigals and Mottets, apt for Viols and Voyces. This collection appeared, advertised as newly composed, in 1612. Some of these are more akin to consort songs for solo voice and instrumental accompaniment, and could be performed in this way rather than with each part sung. Gibbons’s consort songs include the remarkable concoction The Cryes of London for five voices and five viols, a composition that makes use of the street cries of hawkers and vendors in the London of his time.

Instrumental Music

Gibbons wrote a number of pieces for consorts of viols, the playing of which was socially acceptable. These include contrapuntal fantasias, dance movements, and examples of the traditional English instrumental form the In nomine—a composition based on a fragment of a setting of the ‘Benedictus’ in a Mass by the English composer John Taverner.

Keyboard Music

Gibbons continued the English tradition of keyboard music exemplified in the work of William Byrd, John Bull and others. Work by all three was published in 1613 under the title Parthenia or the Maydenhead of the First Musicke that ever was printed for the Virginals. Gibbons contributed a number of fantasias, one of them for double organ, and various airs and dance movements, including Lord Salisbury’s Pavan and Galliard.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
Early English Choral Music Naxos 8.505079

View by Role: Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
All the Queen's Men - Music for Elizabeth I (Sarum Consort, Mackay) Naxos
8.572582
Choral - Sacred
ANGLAR (Angels) Naxos
8.503096
Chamber Music
Art and Music: Rembrandt - Music of His Time Naxos
8.558118
Chamber Music, Instrumental
Art and Music: Rubens - Music of His Time Naxos
8.558067
Instrumental
ARTISTRY OF HANS FAGIUS (THE) BIS
BIS-CD-140-41
Instrumental
Choral Concert: Saint Clement's Choir - HOWELLS, H. / BAX, A. / HORSLEY, W. / HARRIS, W.H. / STANFORD, C.V. / FERGUSON, W. (Hymns of Heaven and Earth) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90259
Choral - Sacred
Choral Concert: Yale Schola Cantorum - TAVERNER, J. / BENNETT, R.R. / GIBBONS, O. / TALLIS, T. (Sing, ye Birds, a joyous Song) Delos
DE3458
Choral - Sacred
Choral Music - PALESTRINA, G. / JOSQUIN DES PREZ / VIADANA, L. / VIADANA, L. / VICTORIA, T. / BYRD, W. (Beyond Chant Mysteries of the Renaissance) Delos
DE3165
Choral - Sacred
Early English Organ Music, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.550719
Instrumental
Early Music (The Glory of) Naxos
8.554064
Chamber Music, Instrumental, Chamber Music, Instrumental
EASTER ALBUM (AN) Naxos
8.570175-76
Vocal
FOOD OF LOVE (THE) - Early Instrumental Music of the British Isles (Hesperus) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90290
Chamber Music
GIBBONS, O.: Hymnes and Songs of the Church (Tonus Peregrinus, Pitts) Naxos
8.557681
Chamber Music, Choral - Sacred, Chamber Music, Choral - Sacred, Chamber Music
GIBBONS: Choral and Organ Music Naxos
8.553130
Choral - Sacred, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
GIBBONS: Consort and Keyboard Music / Songs and Anthems Naxos
8.550603
Chamber Music, Vocal, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Vocal, Instrumental, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Chamber Music, Vocal, Chamber Music
GLORIA - Classical Music for Reflection and Meditation Naxos
8.556702
Chamber Music
Harpsichord Recital: Koopman, Ton - PICCHI, G. / GIBBONS, O. / MORLEY, T. / BULL, J. / FARNABY, G. / BYRD, W. / PHILIPS, P. / PLAYFORD, J. Capriccio
C10211
Instrumental
Keyboard Recital: Tilney, Colin - MORLEY, T. / SWEELINCK, J.P. / GIBBONS, O. / BULL, J. / FARNABY, G. / BYRD, W. / SCHILDT, M. (Go From My Window) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90195
Instrumental
Keyboard Recital: Vicens, Catalina - BYRD, W. / BULL, J. / GIBBONS, O. (Parthenia) Carpe Diem
CD-16298
Instrumental, Chamber Music, Instrumental
Medieval Music - BUSNOYS, A. / GESUALDO, C. / MONTEVERDI, C. / GIBBONS, O. / BULL, J. / PRAETORIUS, M. (Angels of Antiquity) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90009
Instrumental
MUSIC FOR VIOLA DA GAMBA AND LUTE BIS
BIS-CD-22
Chamber Music
NAXOS BOOK OF CAROLS (THE) Naxos
8.557330
Choral - Sacred
Organ Recital: Koopman, Ton - BULL, J. / TOMKINS, T. / GIBBONS, O. / PURCELL, H. / BLOW, J. / BYRD, W. / BOYCE, W. (The Organ at Adlington Hall) Capriccio
C10255
Instrumental
Passiontide: Music for Solace and Reflection Naxos
8.557025
Choral - Sacred
Piano Recital: Rangell, Andres - SCARLATTI, D. / BRAHMS, J. / RAVEL, M. / SCHUBERT, F. / BACH, J.S. (A Recital of Intimate Works, Vol. 2) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-93194
Instrumental
QUEENES COMMAND (THE): Masterpieces of Elizabethan Keyboard Music BIS
BIS-CD-539
Instrumental
SAINTS AND SINNERS - The Music of Medieval and Renaissance Europe [10 CD Boxed Set] Naxos
8.501067
Vocal, Choral - Sacred
STORY OF BRITISH CLASSICAL MUSIC (THE) Naxos Educational
8.558193-94
Choral - Sacred
THANKSGIVING - A Classic Thanksgiving: Songs of Praise Naxos
8.555294
Choral - Sacred
THREE ELIZABETHS (THE): A Musical Celebration of Britain through the Centuries Naxos
8.557032-33
Vocal
TOMKINS / GIBBONS / BYRD: Consort and Keyboard Music Naxos
8.553241
Chamber Music, Choral - Sacred, Vocal, Chamber Music, Vocal, Chamber Music
Trio Sonata in 17th Century England BIS
BIS-CD-1455
Chamber Music
World of Early Music Naxos
8.554770-71
Instrumental
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 




 
 
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