Matthew Locke was born at Exeter and became a chorister of Exeter
Cathedral. Pepys in his diary recalls a dinner, in 1659, with Locke
and 'Mr. Purcell' (the father or uncle of the composer Purcell)
after which the approaching return of the King was celebrated by
the singing of a loyal canon composed by Locke. When Charles II
returned, Locke composed the band music for the royal progress through
the city and was appointed Composer in Ordinary to the King. When
he died Henry Purcell himself composed an elegy On the death of
his Worthy Friend Mr. Matthew Locke. Matthew Locke is best known
for his fascinating original string music and is thought to have
composed his Music for His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts for the
coronation of Charles II.
Holborn (d. 1602)
Anthony Holborn was a gentleman amateur whose main instrument was
almost certainly the lute, as would have been considered appropriate
for a man of his class. Many of his stylised dances seem to have
been originally conceived for a plucked instrument, and it would
seem that the five-part settings in his Pavans, Galliards and Almains
of 1599 were an afterthought.
Thomas Simpson had three collections of stylised dances published.
Like his colleague Brade he worked in a mixture of English and German/Italian
styles. But it would seem that he was a little more attached to
his English background than Brade, composing a very effective variation
on Bonny Sweet Robin, and introducing pieces by other English composers
in his Taffelconsort of 1621.
Adson (d. 1640)
John Adson was a professional wind player. During the first decade
of the 17th century he was one of the cornett and sackbutt players
of Charles III, Duke of Lorraine. Sometime before 1614 he returned
to London, where he was a member of the City Waits until his death.
For the last seven years of his life he held the somewhat more prestigious
position of one of the 'King's Musicians for the flute and cornett'.
Hingeston (d. 1698)
John Hingeston was an organist and viol player, who is reputed to
have been a pupil of Orlando Gibbons. It is also thought that he
was the teacher of John Blow and that Henry Purcell was at one time
apprenticed under him in 1673.
John Jenkins was born in Maidstone, Kent and the son of a carpenter.
Not much is known about his early life. He is known to have stayed
in the houses of Lady Warwick at Northaw, Hertfordshire, of the
Dereham family at West Dereham in Norfolk and of the L'Estrange
family at Hunstanlon, as well as with Roger North at Kirtling Castle
in Cambridgeshire between the years 1660 and 1660. At the Restoration,
Jenkins was appointed the orbo player to the King. He does not seem
to have spent much time, if any, at court, but at gentlemen's houses
in the country.
Hayes (d. 1645)
William Hayes died at the siege of Chester in 1645, which was a
great loss to English music. His unique style, startling originality
and audacious harmonic vocabulary makes it fascinating to speculate
how he might have changed the face of music in the 17th century
if he had lived as long as Jenkins. As it is, much of his music
has the feeling of experimentation about it, and although it is
of undoubted quality one does have the impression that his style
may not be fully mature.
Little or nothing is known about William Young's early life. He
appears to have left England before the Civil Wars and entered the
service of Ferdinand Carl of Austria in Innsbruck, where he published
in 1653 a collection of Italianate sonatas and dances for 2, 3 and
4 violins with basso continuo. He was one of Europe's foremost exponents
of the bass viol and many manuscript sources in England contain
pieces for one and two viols as well as two sets of trios for treble
and two basses.
Christopher Simpson was the son of a Yorkshire cordwainer. He came
from a Catholic family and served with the Royalists in the campaigns
of 1643/4 under the Earl (later Duke) of Newcastle to whom he dedicated
his Compendium of Practical Music. He was subsequently installed
in the household of Sir Robert Bolles at Scampton, Lincolnshire.
Sir Robert's son John was the 'chief occasion' of the 'Division
Violist' and it can be assumed that Simpson was tutor and composer
for the family.
Thomas Tomkins was born in St. David's in Pembrokeshire, and seems
to have had his first appointment as 'instructor choristum' at Worcester
Cathedral in 1595. He probably stayed there until the early 1620s,
when he went to London to be 2nd Organist at the Chapel Royal under
Orlando Gibbons. He seems to have spent an increasing amount of
time in his adopted home town of Worcester, where he lived in the
Cathedral precincts until going in 1654 to live with his son Nathaniel
at Martin Hussingtree in Worcestershire. His Paven: For these Distracted
Tymes reflects the profound shock and deep disillusionment with
current events of a septuagenarian, who had been brought up in the
more confident age of Queen Elizabeth.
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Baroque Music I | Late
Baroque Music II
Early English Baroque Music
Copyright © N. Kipar 1999. All rights reserved.
Contents courtesy of Past Time's CD Music for a Cavalier.