Gibbons, Orlando


b Oxford 1583, d Canterbury, Kent 1625. The youngest and most gifted of 4 musical brothers, at King’s Coll Cambridge he was a choirboy from 1596 and a student from 1599, and at 21 organist of the Chapel Royal. By 1606 (Cambridge MusB) he was composing music; in 1619 he was appointed a court virginals player, and in 1632 became organist at Westminster Abbey, to be succeeded later by his son Christopher. He conducted the music at the funeral of James I; having travelled to Canterbury in June 1625 to provide the music for another royal event where he was to meet to Charles I’s bride Henrietta Maria, he was suddenly taken ill and died there of a brain haemorrhage, aged 42, immediately before her arrival. He composed madrigals, music for the viol and virginal and many items for the church including 17 hymn tunes, 16 of which featured in Geo Wither’s Hymnes and Songs of the Church. Many of these were recovered in their authentic form by the 1906 EH. He was generally regarded as England’s finest keyboard player of his generation, and was known for his wit and vitality; see the entry in Grove. MusD from both Cambridge and (probably) Oxford. No.797(ii), 940.

Tunes and arrangements by Gibbons, Orlando

Tune Name
Angel’s Song