Tuesday, 15 January 2008

33. Thomas Weelkes - Anthems (1610's)


Title: Cathedral Music by Thomas Weelkes
Performers: Winchester Cathedral Choir, Timothy Byram-Wigfield (Organ)
Director: David Hill
Year: 1989
Length: 1 hour 5 minutes


This is a really beautiful album, even though I am getting tired of church music very fast, but this is a particularly beautiful collection of anthems. Weelkes likes his emotive music, his impressive ups and downs.

The sound is really full here, and the interplay of voices is particularly stunning. It sounds actually more modern than its age and could easily be contemporary with Bach for example, of course this comes from the troubled genius that was Weelkes.

If you liked Tallis this is most definitely a thing to get, and so you should. Unfortunately I couldn't exactly love this album, there is a certain saturation from this list, particularly until we get further on into the mid 1600's with sacred music. And I could do with a bit less of it, and about half the tracks here merit a 9 and the other half an 8... so maybe when I listen to it again in the future it will be a 9... but for the moment it is only an 8.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Weelkes was later to find himself in trouble with the Chichester Cathedral authorities for his heavy drinking and immoderate behaviour. In 1609 he was charged with unauthorised absence, but no mention of drunken behaviour is made until 1613, and J Shepherd, a Weelkes scholar, has suggested caution in assuming that his decline began before this date. In 1616 he was reported to the Bishop for being ‘noted and famed for a comon drunckard (sic) and notorious swearer & blasphemer’. The Dean and Chapter dismissed him for being drunk at the organ and using bad language during divine service. He was however reinstated and remained in the post until his death, although his behaviour did not improve; in 1619 Weelkes was again reported to the Bishop:

Dyvers tymes & very often come so disguised eyther from the Taverne or Ale house into the quire as is muche to be lamented, for in these humoures he will bothe curse & sweare most dreadfully, & so profane the service of God … and though he hath bene often tymes admonished … to refrayne theis humors and reforme hym selfe, yett he daylye continuse the same, & is rather worse than better therein.

Gloria In Excelsis Deo:

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