Wilbye, John

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Wilbye, John (b Diss, 1574; d Colchester, 1638). Eng. composer. Took post at Hengrave Hall, near Bury St Edmunds, 1593, remaining there for rest of his life and becoming wealthy landowner after 1613. Wrote some sacred motets but chiefly known as among greatest of Eng. madrigal sch. Absorbed It. influence of Marenzio, and incorporated solo-song features into his madrigals similar to lute air. Pubd. 2 books of madrigals, 1598 and 1609. Seems to have written nothing after 1614. Among best-known of his madrigals are: Adieu, sweet Amaryllis; All Pleasure is of this Condition; Down in a Valley; Draw on, Sweet Night; Flora gave me Fairest Flowers; Lady, your Words do Spite Me; Softly, softly; Stay, Corydon; Sweet Honey-Sucking Bees; Unkind, O Stay thy Flying; Weep, Weep mine Eyes.

Wilbye, John

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Wilbye, John

Wilbye, John, important English composer; b. Diss, Norfolk (baptized), March 7,1574; d. Colchester, c.Sept. 1638. By 1598 he was a musician at Hengrave Hall, the home of Sir Thomas Kytson, near Bury St. Edmunds. After the death of Lady Kytson (1628), he settled in Colchester, where he spent his last years with her daughter, Lady Rivers. During his years at Hengrave, he acquired considerable wealth. He was a master of the madrigal; his Second Set of Madrigals (1609) constitutes the most significant collection of English madrigals.

Works

The First Set of English Madrigals for 3 to 6 Voices (London, 1598; ed. by E. Fellowes, The English Madrigalists; 2nd ed., rev., 1966, by T. Dart); The Second Set of Madrigals for 3 to 6 Voices, Apt both for Voyais and Voyces (London, 1609; ed. by E. Fellowes, The English Madrigalists; 2nd ed., rev., 1966, by T. Dart); also a few sacred vocal pieces and instrumental works.

Bibliography

H. Heurich, /. W. in seinen Madrigalen: Studien zu einem Bilde seiner Persönlichkeit (Augsburg, 1931); D. Brown, /. W. (London, 1974).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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John Wilbye

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