Ouseley, Frederick Arthur Gore

Composer

b Westminster, London (Middx) 1825, d Hereford 1889. The musical infant prodigy son (beginning to compose at the age of 3) of an ambassador and baronet. Educated first at home, he then had tuition from the Vicar of Dorking whose church choir he joined. He entered Christ Church Oxford in 1843 and the following year inherited his father’s title and estate; BA 1846, ordained 1849. serving curacies at the Tractarian centres of St Barnabas’ Pimlico and St Paul’s Knightsbridge, London, to 1851. MA, BMus; for his DMus (1854) he submitted an oratorio, The Martyrdom of Polycarp), and in that year founded St Michael’s Coll, Tenbury, Worcs, which opened fully in 1856 and became noted for its library of (especially) English music and heraldry. Appointed Oxford Univ’s Prof of Music, 1855, also Precentor of Hereford Cathedral. The following year he became also perpetual curate at the church of St Michael and All Angels, Tenbury, which he had established alongside the college. He played a leading role in the development of 19th-c church music; strongly opposed the use of secular tunes in church, he was closely associated with A&M from its beginnings. 13 of his tunes appeared in its 1889 edn, 6 of which remained in 1950 and just one, as here, in 2000. He helped to shape what became the standard form of cathedral service, though his work is now accused of a ‘prevailing dulness’ (Grove). Routley prefers to emphasise that his music ‘preserves a classic modesty and poise’. No.259=263.

Tunes and arrangements by Ouseley, Frederick Arthur Gore

Tune Name
Contemplation