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March 31, 2019

Freya Parr Five essential works by Orlando Gibbons


This is the record of John

Gibbons’s beautiful anthem, setting verses from St John’s Gospel, is a gentle narrative for alto solo and chorus and shows the composer’s gift for dramatic writing.

Recommended recording:
Robin Blaze (countertenor), Winchester Cathedral Choir/David Hill
Helios CDH55228



O Clap your hands

Written to celebrate his doctorate from Oxford in 1622, this masterful, exciting anthem written for eight parts contains wonderful imitative writing, sprightly cross-rhythms and superb antiphony.

Recommended recording:
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury
EMI Classics 394 4302



Fantasy of foure parts

Among his greatest works for the keyboard, Gibbons’s Fantasy is widein scope, and ebbs and flows in an almost Romantic fashion. Surprising, pleasing music.

Recommended recording:
Christopher Hogwood
Explore Records EXP0006



In nomines

Scored for four or five viols, these chamber works use, like the Fantasy above, intricate, sophisticated counterpoint, but they make for utterly delightful and hypnotic listening.

Recommended recording:
Avie AV0032



The Short Service

A different side to Gibbons. This attractively straightforward setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis is highly melodic, prayerful and atmospheric.

Recommended recording:
Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly
Naxos 8.553130




As the clocks go forward today, Geoffrey Smith presents a sequence of songs about time, as measured by the clock, the calendar and the heart. Reflections range from Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday to Woody Herman and Miles Davis.

from Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz

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