Thomas Morley

Biography

Born: 1557; Norwich, England   Died: October, 1602; London, England  
Thomas Morley, though born the obscure son of a Norwich brewer, rose over the course of his life to centrality in nearly every aspect of Elizabethan musical culture. Though no records of his early training survive, he apparently studied with William Byrd, as the dedication of his theoretical treatise A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) calls Byrd his "Master." His professional career included service at the Cathedral of Read more Norwich (1583 to July 1587), a Bachelor's degree in Music from Oxford in 1588, service as organist at St. Paul's in London from 1589, and a position as Gentleman of the Chapel Royal as of 1592. From 1593 until his death (apparently in 1602), he presented a total of eleven musical publications - compositions, arrangements, and writings -- which brought him to the forefront of national attention. He may have been friends with Shakespeare.

Many of his own compositions, especially those for the Church, betray the influence of his teacher Byrd. A small number of Latin motets, and a selection of Anglican anthems abound in severe (and well-wrought) counterpoint; three full Anglican services and a setting of the Funeral Sentences, however, display more clarity and simplicity of texture. His keyboard works and consort music demonstrate skill and fluency in an inherited idiom.

The most influential of Morley's varied musical activities was his effort on behalf of the madrigal; indeed, he was a prime force in the adoption of this quintessential Italian form into the world of Elizabethan England. In 1595 he printed a volume, with parallel English and Italian editions, of canzonets and one of balletts, adapting and arranging these lighter Italian pieces by Anerio and Gastoldi to English usage; these were followed by two more anthologies of Italian music in 1597 and 1598. A large number of his own English madrigals were also printed; many of which are artful rearrangements of Italian models, such as Sing we and Chant It, which expands Gastoldi's A lieta vita, while others broach original themes in the style, including his best-known madrigal April is in my Mistress' Face, from the first book of madrigals of 1594. His very last publication, the Triumphs of Orianna (1602), presents a collection of his own and others' madrigals which honor the Queen. Throughout these works, Morley concentrates on lighter forms, avoiding the more "serious" devices of word-painting and chromaticism.

In addition to his work as organist, church composer, madrigalist, editor, and music printer, he assumed the Crown Monopoly on music printing first awarded to Byrd. In 1597 Morley authored a "Practicall" treatise on the notation and composition of music ("that in our vulgar tongue which of all other things hath been in writing least known to our countrymen"). The volume is passionate and quite readable, demonstrating its author's deep researches into the development of music, especially Italian music, and his desire to make his knowledge available to the public. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 132 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5 6
  • 1.
    Europaische Chormusik / Eric Ericson, Stockholm Choir
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1158855 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Luigi Dallapiccola,  Ildebrando Pizzetti,  Lars Johan Werle  ... 
    Performer:  Marianne Mellnäs,  Björn Haugen,  Sven-Erik Alexandersson,  Carl-Eric Hellström  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Ericson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Chamber Choir,  Stockholm Radio Chorus,  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra members
    On sale! $65.99
    CD: $64.49
    Advance Order
    On sale!   $65.99   CD:  $64.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Vigilate! / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir
    Label: Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog: 720 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Philips,  Robert White,  Thomas Tallis,  William Byrd  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.99
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    On sale!   $18.99   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 3.
    Pavans & Fantasies from the Age of Dowland / John Holloway
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 002079602 Release Date: 06/03/2014  
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Henry Purcell,  William Lawes,  John Jenkins  ... 
    Performer:  Renate Steinmann,  Monica Baer,  John Holloway,  Susana Hefti  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $15.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Richardson: Complete Works For Harpsichord  / Glen Wilson
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 572997 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferdinando Richardson,  Thomas Morley,  Alfonso Ferrabosco,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  Glen Wilson
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $7.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 5.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    On sale! $199.99
    CD: $189.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $199.99   CD:  $189.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Julian Bream - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546242 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Mateo Pérez de Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  George Malcolm,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Colin Davis,  André Previn,  David Atherton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Julian Bream Consort,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $138.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $149.98   CD:  $138.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    The Phoenix Rising / Stile Antico
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 807572 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Orlando Gibbons,  Thomas Morley,  Thomas Tallis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stile Antico
    Recommendation
    On sale! $21.98
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $21.98   SuperAudio CD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

  • 8.
    Archiv Produktion 1947-2013
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001833572 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anonymous,  Adam de la Halle,  Raimbaut de Vaqeiras  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Hermann Töttcher,  Maria Jung  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Fritz Lehmann,  Maurus Pfaff,  Safford Cape  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Karl Ristenpart Chamber Orchestra,  Bach Festival Orchestra,  Frankfurt Music School Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
    In Stock
    On sale!   $169.98   CD:  $148.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 9.
    All In A Garden Green - A Renaissance Collection / Toronto Consort
    Label: Marquis   Catalog: 81515 Release Date: 04/23/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Traditional,  John Playford,  John Bennet  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Jenkins,  Laura Pudwell,  David Fallis,  John Pepper  ... 
    Conductor:  David Fallis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Consort
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 10.
    English Royal Funeral Music: Purcell, Morley, Tomkins
    Label: Ricercar   Catalog: 332 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Thomas Morley,  Thomas Tomkins,  Thomas Weelkes
    Conductor:  Lionel Meunier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vox Luminis
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 11.
    Made Of Melting Snow - Elizabethan Consort Songs / Rayuela
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 1909 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Robert Johnson,  Thomas Morley,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Lauren Brown
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rayuela
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $15.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Frans Bruggen Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 65836 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Barsanti,  Francesco Maria Veracini  ... 
    Performer:  Frans Brüggen,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Anner Bylsma,  Alda Stuurop  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brüggen-Consort
    Recommendation
    CD: $58.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $58.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Monteverdi & His Contemporaries - Madrigals / Gardiner
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1035 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Carlo Gesualdo,  John Wilbye,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    The Voice Of Peter Pears
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1393 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Ford,  John Dowland,  Thomas Morley,  Philip Rosseter  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  Benjamin Britten
    Recommendation
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 15.
    Harpsichord Music From England, Spain And Portugal / Ruzickova
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4118 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Dowland,  Ferdinando Richardson,  Anonymous,  John Bull  ... 
    Performer:  Zuzana Ruzicková
    Recommendation
    CD: $22.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $22.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 16.
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 224 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Ford,  Philip Rosseter,  John Dowland,  Thomas Morley  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  Benjamin Britten
    CD: $12.49
    Back Order
    CD:  $12.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    Journeys / United States Navy Band & Sea Chanters
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 70502 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David "The Edge" Evans,  James [Soft Rock] Taylor,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Thomas Morley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Navy Band,  United States Navy Sea Chanters
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    All In A Garden Green - Four Seasons Of English Music / Le Tendre Amour
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94313 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Playford,  William Byrd,  Nicola Matteis,  Nicholas Lanier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Tendre Amour
    Recommendation
    CD: $8.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 19.
    The Very Best Of English Song
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80513 Release Date: 04/03/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  John Ireland,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Roger Quilter  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Gerald Moore,  Thomas Allen,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Simon Rattle,  Steuart Bedford  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Fretwork,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $34.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $29.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 20.
    Fitzwilliam Virginal Book Vol 1 / Pieter-Jan Belder
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94303 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Bull,  Giles Farnaby,  Martin Peerson,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter-Jan Belder
    Recommendation
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $19.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 21.
    A Song Of Farewell - Music Of Mourning & Consolation
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 281 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jonathan Dove,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Orlando Gibbons,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    Adios Mi Amor - Duets For Vihuelas / Delitiae Musicae
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94302 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joan Ambrosio Dalza,  Josquin Des Préz,  Nicolas Gombert,  Francisco Guerrero  ... 
    Performer:  Jesús Sánchez,  Manuel Minguillón Nieto
    Recommendation
    CD: $8.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $8.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 23.
    Tears Of Joy: English Lute Songs & Consort Music / Zefiro Torna
    Label: Etcetera Records   Catalog: 4038 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  John Bartlet,  Andrea Gabrieli,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zefiro Torna
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $18.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 24.
    English Anthem Collection From Oxford / Harper, Magdalen College Choir
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 4001 Release Date: 01/17/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  William Byrd,  Thomas Morley,  John Farmer,  Richard Farrant  ... 
    Conductor:  John Harper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Magdalen College Choir Oxford
    Recommendation
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $27.99 Add MP3 to Cart

  • 25.
    Just Songs! /	Die Singphoniker
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 801 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  John Dowland,  Berry Gordy,  Hubert Waelrant  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Die Singphoniker
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    MP3 Available
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

    MP3:  $9.99 Add MP3 to Cart

1 2 3 4 5 6