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THOMAS MORLEY  

(1557 - 1602)

Morley contributed significantly to the development of the English madrigal, which was based on Italian models. He was probably a pupil of William Byrd, to whom he dedicated his popular book A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, published in 1597. Morley was employed at St Paul’s in London and became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1592, publishing his first set of part-songs in 1593. He was later involved in printing and publishing music, for which he was granted a share in the monopoly in 1598.

Church Music

Under the influence of Byrd, Morley wrote music for the liturgy of the Church of England, service settings, psalm settings, and a number of Latin motets. Of particular interest is the setting of the De profundis (‘Out of the deep’) as a verse anthem, a peculiarly English form derived from the consort song of the period and involving the contrast of solo voices with the choir, with instrumental accompaniment from the organ or other groups of instruments.

Madrigals

It is as a composer of madrigals that Morley is widely known. The Canzonets, or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces published in 1593 were followed by a collection of four-part madrigals in 1594 and a series of other publications during the decade, some of them adaptations and arrangements of Italian madrigals. In 1601 Morley published the collaborative The Triumphs of Oriana, a tribute to Queen Elizabeth for which he collected madrigals by 23 composers as an offering to the aging Arcadian Queen of the Shepherds. Well-known madrigals by Morley include Aprill is in my mistris face, My bonny lasse shee smyleth, Now is the month of maying, O sleep, fond fancy, Sing wee and chaunt it, Sweet nymphe, come to thy lover and Though Philomela lost hir love. Solo songs by Morley include It was a lover and his lasse, a song that appears in Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It.

Keyboard and Other Instrumental Music

Morley added to the contemporary repertoire for the virginals. Keyboard music of this kind includes paired pavans and galliards, song variations, including a set of variations on the popular song Go from my window, and a Passymeasures pavan, a title that recalls the words of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. Following the custom of the time, Morley also wrote for lute and for various groups of instruments, including arrangements of music by other composers.

View by Role: Classical Composer | Arranger
Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
A Dorian Portrait featuring Selections from the Dorian Catalog Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90004
Vocal, Chamber Music
All the Queen's Men - Music for Elizabeth I (Sarum Consort, Mackay) Naxos
8.572582
Choral - Secular
BEST OF LOS ANGELES GUITAR QUARTET (THE) Delos
DE1607
Instrumental
BOYS GOTTA DANCE! Delos
DE1623
Instrumental
Chamber and Vocal Music (16th-17th Centuries) – READE, R. / JOHNSON, J. RAVENSCROFT, T. / MORLEY, T. (The Ladyes Delight) (Baltimore Consort) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90252
Chamber Music
Chamber Music - MORLEY, T. / D'URFEY, T. / HOLMES, M. / PURCELL, H. / AKEROYDE, S. (The Best of the Baltimore Consort) (Baltimore Consort) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90023
Chamber Music
Chamber Music – PLAYFORD, J. / MCFARLANE, R. / PRAETORIUS, M. / NEGRI, C. / JOHNSON, J. (Gut Wind and Wire) (Baltimore Consort) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-90601
Chamber Music
CHAMBER MUSIC (14th Century) (A Distant Mirror) (Folger Consort) Delos
DE1003
Vocal
Chamber Music (Brass Quintet) - SCHEIDT, S. / FERRABOSCO II, A. / MORLEY, T. / HOLBORNE, A. / WEELKES, T. / SIMPSON, T. (American Brass Quintet) Delos
DE3003
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (Renaissance) – D'ESTREE, J. / JOHNSON, J. / RAVENSCROFT, T. / ALLISON, R. / MORLEY, T. / BYRD, W. / DOWLAND, J. (Baltimore Consort) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90142
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (Renaissance) - JANEQUIN, C. / FESTA, S. / NOLLA, G.D. / ARCADELT, J. / MORLEY, T. / RADESCA, E.A. / JOSQUIN DES PREZ (Musica Fresca) Divox
CDX-79804
Chamber Music
Chamber Music (Renaissance) - PHILIDOR, P.D. / BUSNOYS, A. / LUZZASCHI, L. / MONTEVERDI, C. (A Renaissance Tour of Europe) (New York Kammermusiker) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90133
Chamber Music
FOOD OF LOVE (THE) - Early Instrumental Music of the British Isles (Hesperus) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90290
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
HEAVENLY NOYSE: English Music for Mixed Consort BIS
BIS-CD-451
Chamber Music
JOCULATORES UPSALIENSES: Four Seasons (The) BIS
BIS-CD-75
Choral - Sacred
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
KIRKBY, Emma: Musique and Sweet Poetrie - Jewels from Europe around 1600 BIS
BIS-SACD-1505
Vocal
Medieval Music - BUSNOYS, A. / GESUALDO, C. / MONTEVERDI, C. / GIBBONS, O. / BULL, J. / PRAETORIUS, M. (Angels of Antiquity) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90009
Vocal
MILLER BRASS ENSEMBLE: Brass Surround Delos
DE3171
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
MORLEY, T.: Joyne Hands / AKEROYDE, S.: Jenny, My Blithest Maid / NICHOLSON, R.: The Jewes Dance (Tunes from the Attic) (Baltimore Consort) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90235
Chamber Music
MUSIC FOR SHAKESPEARE'S THEATRE Naxos
8.570708
Vocal
MUSIC FOR VIOLA DA GAMBA AND LUTE BIS
BIS-CD-22
Chamber Music
Renaissance Music - BYRD, W. / HOLMES, M. / FARNABY, G. / CAMPION, T. / DOWLAND, J. / MORLEY, T. (Elizabeth's Music) (Fallis) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90015
Vocal
Renaissance Music - BYRD, W. / WILSON, J. / JOHNSON, R. / DOWLAND, J. / HOLMES, M. / PLAYFORD, J. / RAVENSCROFT, T. (Shakespeare's Music) (Fallis) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90017
Vocal, Chamber Music
Renaissance Music - DOWLAND, J. / PLAYFORD, J. / PRAETORIUS, M. / WEBSTER, M. (Fortune My Foe - Music of Shakespeare's Time) (Les Witches) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-93182
Chamber Music
RICHARDSON, F.: Keyboard Works (Complete) (G. Wilson) Naxos
8.572997
Instrumental
SAINTS AND SINNERS - The Music of Medieval and Renaissance Europe [10 CD Boxed Set] Naxos
8.501067
Choral - Secular
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.: The Nutcracker Suite / PRAETORIUS, M.: Terpsichore / WARLOCK, P.: Capriol Suite (arr. for guitar quartet) (Los Angeles Guitar Quartet Delos
DE3132
Instrumental
UNITED STATES NAVY BAND: Journeys Altissimo
75442270502
Choral - Secular
Vocal and Lute Music (English) - MORLEY, T. / CAMPION, T. / DOWLAND, J. / FERRABOSCO II, A. / HOLBORNE, A. (Greensleeves) (Baird, McFarlane) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90126
Vocal
Vocal Music - WEILL, K. / DOWLAND, J. / GABRIEL, P. / GABRIELI, A. / CERTON, P. / RODGERS, R. / MANCHICOURT, P. de (… just songs!) (Die Singphoniker) Oehms Classics
OC801
Vocal Ensemble
Vocal Recital: Baird, Julianne - JOHNSON, R. / MORLEY, T. / LANIER, N. / WILSON, J. / CAMPION, T. (The English Lute Song) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90109
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Urrey, Frederick - DOWLAND, J. / CAMPION, T. / HOLBORNE, A. / ROSSETER, P. (O Mistress Mine - A Collection of English Lute Songs) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90136
Vocal
Vocal Recital: Vyvyan, Jennifer - PURCELL, H. / MORLEY, T. / ARNE, T.A. / HORN, C.E. / GRAINGER, P. (Songs of England) (1954) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81175
Vocal
Role: Arranger 
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