Christopher Simpson


Born: 1605   Died: May 7, 1669   Country: England  
Christopher Simpson was a key figure among English composers of the early Baroque and the most highly regarded theorist of his day. Born between 1602 and 1606 to a catholic family of actors, likely in Egton, Simpson is not heard from again until 1643, when he is found fighting for the Royalists alongside William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle. After the defeat at the Battle of Marston Moor, the Duke of Newcastle took refuge in France, while Simpson Read more settled in at the home of Sir Robert Bolles in Scampton, Lincolnshire, and became personal tutor on the viol to Bolles' son John. Simpson would live with the Bolles' the rest of his days, even after Robert died and the estate passed to son John. Simpson also earned his keep through teaching others, mainly additional members of the Bolles family. Matthew Locke and John Jenkins were among many musicians who praised Simpson's musical facility and character after he died in 1669, with Jenkins calling him "my very precious friend."

Simpson was a viol specialist and a great practitioner of writing in the "division" styled counterpoint for stringed instruments that so influenced Matthew Locke. Simpson's treatises were well known throughout Europe, The Division Violist (1659, 1665) and The Principles of Practical Musick (1665) being the main publications of Simpson to appear in print during his lifetime. Both went into many editions and were still in use in the early part of the eighteenth century. A surprising amount of unpublished manuscript music of Simpson yet survives, and it is from such sources that we know his extraordinary programmatic suites The Monthes and The Seasons, chamber music that nonetheless looks forward to the small-scale orchestral music that would begin to evolve under Locke not long before Simpson died. Unlike most composers of the seventeenth century, neither sacred, nor vocal music is known from Simpson's hand. Read less
Browse 1-22 of 22 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Come All Ye Songsters / Sampson
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 83 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Giovanni Battista Draghi,  Anonymous,  Francesco Corbetta  ... 
    Performer:  Laurence Cummings,  Jonathan Manson,  Carolyn Sampson,  Elizabeth Kenny
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  • 2.
    New Old Albion: Music Around the Harp Consorts of William Lawes
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95274 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Lawes,  John Playford,  Christopher Simpson,  John Dowland  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Caleidoscopio (Harp Ensemble)
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  • 3.
    Concertos for Winter / Live Oak Baroque Orchestra
    Label: Vgo Recordings   Catalog: 1024 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Matthew Locke,  Antonio Vivaldi,  James Oswald,  Dietrich Becker  ... 
    Performer:  Elizabeth Blumenstock,  Viola] Aaron [Violin Westman,  William Skeen
    Conductor:  Elizabeth Blumenstock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Live Oak Baroque Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 4.
    Simpson: Ayres & Graces / Chelys Consort of Viols
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2153 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Simpson
    Performer:  Dan Tidhar,  James Akers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chelys Consort Of Viols
    SuperAudio CD: $21.49
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  • 5.
    Contentement Passe Richesse: Music For Viol And Theorbo From The Goess Tablatures
    Label: Fra Bernardo   Catalog: 403111 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ditrich Stoeffken,  Nicolas Hotman,  Jacques de Saint-Luc,  Nicholas Hotman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Little Consort
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  • 6.
    Grand Tour / Trio Settecento
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 1002 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Dario Castello,  Alessandro Stradella,  Biagio Marini,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Settecento
    CD: $34.99
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  • 7.
    Henry Lawes: Ayres / La Reveuse
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 177 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Lawes,  Frances Withy,  Daniel Bacheler,  Nicholas Lanier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Rêveuse
    CD: $23.99
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  • 8.
    An English Fancy / Trio Settecento
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 135 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Tobias Hume,  William Lawes,  John Jenkins  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Settecento
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  • 9.
    Label: Ramee   Catalog: 1204 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Simpson,  Thomas Baltzar,  Solomon Eccles,  John Banister  ... 
    Performer:  Amandine Beyer,  Johannes Strobl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musicke & Mirth
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  • 10.
    Music For A Viol - Jenkins, Simpson, Ford, Locke / W. & S. Kuijken, Kohnen
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 10014 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Simpson,  John Jenkins,  Thomas Ford,  Matthew Locke
    Performer:  Wieland Kuijken,  Robert Kohnen
    CD: $11.99
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  • 11.
    Musical Humors & Lamentations / L'Art Du Bois
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 1418 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anthony Holborne,  Thomas Robinson,  Tobias Hume,  Thomas Simpson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Art du Bois
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  • 12.
    Purcell - The Food Of Love / Agnew, Lasla, Kenny, Rannou
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 185 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Francesco Corbetta,  Christopher Simpson,  Robert de Visée
    Performer:  Anne-Marie Lasla,  Blandine Rannou,  Elizabeth Kenny,  Paul Agnew
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  • 13.
    Breaking The Ground - Simpson: The Division Viol;  Sumarte, Younge / Rozendaal, Schrader
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2920 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Younge,  Richard Sumarte,  Christopher Simpson
    Performer:  John Mark Rozendaal,  David Schrader
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  • 14.
    Works For Two And Three Viols / Hantai, Uemura
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 82082 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Matthew Locke,  François Couperin,  Jean de Sainte-Colombe,  Christopher Simpson  ... 
    Performer:  Kaori Uemura,  Jérôme Hantaï,  Pierre Hantaï,  Alix Verzier
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 15.
    The Oxford Psalms - Lawes, Purcell, Etc / Charivari Agréable
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 93 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Lawes,  Matthew Locke,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Kah-Ming Ng
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
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  • 16.
    Solo Viola Da Gamba / John Dornenburg
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2713 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  August Kühnel,  Jean de Sainte-Colombe,  Marin Marais,  Karl Friedrich Abel  ... 
    Performer:  John Dornenburg
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  • 17.
    English Chamber Music of the 17th Century
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 499762 Release Date: 04/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Baltzar,  Johann Schop,  Nicola Matteis,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Stubbs,  Andrew Lawrence-King
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonnerie Trio
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  • 18.
    Villa Medici - Nata Per La Musica
    Label: Winter & Winter   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 08/21/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Christopher Simpson,  Johannes Brahms,  Uri Caine  ... 
    Performer:  Teodoro Anzellotti,  Luca Pianca,  Vittorio Ghielmi,  Marco Bianchi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Gaia Scienza,  Italian Viola da Gamba Quartet,  Amsterdam String Trio
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Bagpipes From Hell / Vittorio Ghielmi, Luca Pianca
    Label: Winter & Winter   Catalog: 50 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean de Sainte-Colombe,  Antoine Forqueray,  Silvius Leopold Weiss,  Thomas Robinson  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Ghielmi,  Luca Pianca
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  • 20.
    Charivari Agréable - Two Upon A Ground
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 01/25/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christopher Simpson,  Thomas Tomkins,  Gottfried Finger,  John Jenkins  ... 
    Performer:  Susanna Pell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Charivari Agréable
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Spirite Of Musicke / Suzie Le Blanc, Les Voix Humaines
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2136 Release Date: 07/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Jenkins,  John Coprario,  Alfonso Ferrabosco,  Christopher Simpson  ... 
    Performer:  Susie Napper,  Margaret Little,  Suzie LeBlanc
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Voix Humaines
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Johnny, Cock Thy Beaver / Dufay Collective
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9446 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Thomas Simpson,  Giles Farnaby,  Thomas Ravenscroft  ... 
    Performer:  Raphael Mizraki,  Giles Lewin,  Richard Campbell,  John Potter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Dufay Collective
    On sale! $18.99
    CD: $13.99
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