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Music From The Reign Of King James I

Odonnell,James / Wac
Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67858  
Composer:  Thomas TomkinsOrlando GibbonsEdmund HooperRobert Ramsey
Performer:  Robert Quinney
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MUSIC FROM THE REIGN OF KING JAMES I James O’Donnell, cond; Westminster Abbey Ch; Robert Quinney (org) HYPERION CDA 67858 (76:56 Text and Translation)


Music of TOMKINS, GIBBONS, HOOPER, RAMSEY


The Jacobean era can hardly compare with the Elizabethan for the stature of its music, but it has a few outstanding composers. Two of them provide most of the music for this survey, both of them Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal (Gibbons Read more was also organist of Westminster Abbey). Edmund Hooper (c.1553–1621) also occupied both positions, while Robert Ramsey (d.1644) was at Trinity College, Cambridge. Hooper’s canticles from the Great Service and an anthem by Ramsey are the program’s only contributions by the lesser pair, the anthem being “How Are the Mighty Fallen.” This anthem could serve as the second part to the preceding “Then David Mourned” by Tomkins, who only set the beginning of the familiar lament for Saul. But here it has the unique meaning of lamenting the death of Prince Henry in 1612, a moment that was also marked by John Coprario on a disc just reissued.


O’Donnell continues a series of themed programs that he began when he came to the abbey. For the second time in this series, he has brought the choir to All Hallows, Gospel Oak, instead of the usual practice of recording the choir in the abbey. Four of the tracks are played on the organ. I would have thought the abbey organ would have been desirable, though this one sounds fine. I noticed the excellent treble soloist in Gibbons’ “O All True Faithful Hearts,” not something that I’ve had a chance to observe in the abbey choir very regularly. The tone of the men is fine, the altos much improved over the distant past.


Gibbons dominates the program with 11 of the 18 selections, including some of his best works. The concluding “O Clap Your Hands” is a rousing finale, while “See, See, the Word Is Incarnate” is sublime. Tomkins is represented by another lament for Saul and Jonathan, “When David Heard,” with fine treble and adult soloists. O’Donnell has brought the abbey choir far in advance of its previous accomplishments, his programming well conceived and its execution admirable.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Be strong and of a good courage by Thomas Tomkins
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
2.
Great King of Gods by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
3.
O all true faithful hearts by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
4.
Fancy in C fa ut by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
5.
Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Edmund Hooper
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
6.
O sing unto the Lord a new song by Thomas Tomkins
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
7.
Fancy in Gamutt flatt by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
8.
Songs of 3-6 parts: When David heard that Absalom was slain by Thomas Tomkins
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1622; England 
9.
Then David mourned by Thomas Tomkins
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
10.
How are the mighty fallen, T 6 by Robert Ramsey
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
11.
See, see, the word is incarnate by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1616; England 
12.
Fantasia à 4 by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; England 
13.
Hosanna to the Son of David by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
14.
O Lord, in thy wrath rebuke me not by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
15.
Almighty and everlasting God by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
16.
Prelude for Organ by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  Robert Quinney (Organ)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
17.
O clap your hands by Orlando Gibbons
Conductor:  James O'Donnell
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Westminster Abbey Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 

Featured Sound Samples

Then David mourned (Tomkins)
See, see, the Word is incarnate (Gibbons)

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