Orlando Gibbons

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Gibbons, Orlando

Gibbons, Orlando, 1583–1625, English organist and composer. He became organist of the Chapel Royal about 1603, court virginalist in 1619, and organist at Westminster Abbey in 1623. His compositions include English anthems and services, consort and keyboard music, and madrigals. His brothers, Edward Gibbons (1568–c.1650), who was his teacher, and Ellis Gibbons (1573–1603), were also composers. Only a few pieces of their works survive. His son Christopher Gibbons (1615–76) was organist of Westminster Abbey and left some anthems and string compositions.


See E. H. Fellowes, Orlando Gibbons and His Family (2d ed. 1952).

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Orlando Gibbons. The most authentic version, Rudick concludes, is this:
5; Valiant-for-Truth; The Pilgrim Pavement; Hymn-tune Prelude on Song 13 by Orlando Gibbons; The Twenty-third Psalm; Prelude and Fugue in C minor Ian Watson, organ/ Richard Hickox Singers/London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox (Chandos CHAN 9666)
Mr Orlando Gibbons, prosecuting, said on each occasion Bethell, who was accompanied by supporters, was arrested after refusing police requests to dress.
Thomas Tomkins and Orlando Gibbons; a passage set by the latter
As with Chopin's songs it is hard to single out any one entry for praise but Orlando Gibbons"Grant, O Holy Trinity' - the last item - is a beautiful piece of music superbly rendered.
The Rose Consort's recording Orlando Gibbons: Consort and keyboard music, songs and anthems (Naxos 8.550603, rec 1992) represents the prime areas of Gibbons's output save his liturgical music; the listener thus samples consort music for assorted combinations, including the progressive fantazias with `Great Dooble Base', consort songs sung by Tessa Bonner, keyboard music wonderfully played with an excellent sense of direction by Timothy Roberts, and two verse anthems performed with great aplomb by Red Byrd.
Dr Hanley, tightly it seems, places the more virtuoso fantasias in two or three parts in the context of court music of the mid to late 1620s, the fantasia-suites for violin, bass viol and organ by John Coprario (to which one could add the three-part fantasias with two bass lines by Orlando Gibbons: the works of the two composers are available respectively in Musica Britannica Vols.
29 The formulation belongs to an early seventeenth-century anthem by Orlando Gibbons, "O Thou the Central Orb."
Byrd closes with a candid assessment of his personality, character, and musical legacy and a thoughtful accounting of the celebrated composer's stature and influence among his contemporaries, pupils, and successors, including Thomas Morley, Thomas Tomkins, Thomas Weelkes, Orlando Gibbons, Peter Philips, John Bull, and Henry Purcell.
The name, he says, has nothing to do with the current Queen but harks back to Elizabeth I, who engaged the services of six favoured musicians to write and perform for her at court - Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Thomas Tomkins, Thomas Morley, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Weelkes.
Before then, though, the Town Hall hosts Ex Cathedra and the Fretwork viol consort for a programme bringing An Elizabethan Christmas, including works by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Tallis, and director Jeffrey Skidmore will have plenty of other appropriate surprises up his sleeve (December 8, 4pm).

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