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Music
Early English Baroque Music

Matthew Locke (1621-1677)
Anthony Holborn (d. 1602)

Thomas Simpson (1582-1630)

John Adson (d. 1640)

John Hingeston (d. 1698)

John Jenkins

William Hayes (d. 1645)

William Young

Christopher Simpson

Thomas Tomkins

Music

Matthew Locke (1621-1677)
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.

Anthony 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 (1582-1630)
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.

John 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'.

John 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
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.

William 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.

William Young
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
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
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. 

Classic Baroque Music | Late Baroque Music I | Late Baroque Music II
Early English Baroque Music


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Contents courtesy of Past Time's CD Music for a Cavalier.