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Weelkes, Thomas

Weelkes, Thomas (b ?Elstead, Sussex, c.1576; d London, 1623). Eng. composer and organist. Book of madrigals in 3, 4, 5, and 6 vv. pubd. 1597, followed in 1600 by 2 further books, one of 5-part madrigals, the other of 6-part. Organist, Winchester College, 1598. Wrote 6-part madrigal As Vesta was from Latmos hill descending for The Triumphs of Oriana, 1601. Took Mus.B., Oxford Univ., 1602. Organist, Chichester Cath. from c.1601–2. His Ayres or Phantasticke Spirites for 3 vv. was pubd. 1608, and shows a lighter, satirical side to his art. One of greatest of Eng. madrigalists, with daring harmonies and imaginative expression. O Care, wilt though despatch me, Thule, the period of cosmography, and Like two proud armies are among the finest examples of their kind. Wrote much church mus., incl. many anthems (notably Hosanna to the Son of David), and instr. pieces for viols, In Nomines, pavans, etc. Wrote 3-part song, Death hath Deprived me of my Dearest Friend, in memory of Morley. Buried in St Bride's, Fleet Street.

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Weelkes, Thomas

Thomas Weelkes, c.1575–1623, English composer. His four books of madrigals (1597–1600) mark Weelkes as one of the great English madrigalists. His music is remarkable for melodic characterization and innovative use of chromatic harmonic progressions. The Triumphs of Oriana contains his popular "As Vesta was from Latmos hill descending." In 1602, Weelkes became organist of Chichester Cathedral. Of his 10 church services that survive in fragments, all are of interest for their original treatment of the liturgy. He also wrote anthems and a few instrumental works.

See study by D. Brown (1969).

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Weelkes, Thomas

Weelkes, Thomas (c.1575–1623) English madrigal composer and organist. Almost 100 of his madrigals have survived, the finest being sets of five- and six-part madrigals.

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Weelkes, Thomas

Weelkes, Thomas

Weelkes, Thomas, important English organist and composer; b. c. 1575; d. London, Nov. 30, 1623. He was organist at Winchester Cathedral (1598-1601?), then organist and informator choristarum at Chichester Cathedral. He held both of these positions until his drunkenness led to his dismissal in 1617; he again served erratically as organist from 1622. In 1602 he was granted the degree of B.Mus. at New Coll., Oxford. Weelkes was one of the great English madrigalists, possessing remarkable power in melodic characterization of text. He occasionally used chromatic progressions in harmony that were well in advance of his time. He wrote a considerable amount of church music and instrumental works.

Works

IO services; many anthems (see D. Brown, W. Collins, and P. le Huray, eds., Thomas Weelkes: Collected Anthems, Musica Britannica, XXIII, 1966; 2nd ed., rev., 1975); Madrigals to 3. 4. 5. & 6. Voyces (London, 1597; ed. by E. Fellowes; 2nd ed., rev., 1967, by T. Dart, The English Madrigalists, IX); Balletts and Madrigals to Five Voyces, with One to 6. Voyces (London, 1598; ed. by E. Fellowes; 2nd ed., rev, 1968, by T. Dart, The English Madrigalists, X); Madrigals of 5. and 6. Parts, apt for the Viols and Voices (London, 1600; ed. by E. Fellowes; 2nd ed., rev., 1968, by T. Dart, The English Madrigalists, XI, XII); Ayeres or Phantasticke Spirites for Three Voices (London, 1608; ed. by E. Fellowes; 2nd ed., rev, 1965, by T. Dart, The English Madrigalists, XIII); 4 keyboard pieces; several works for Viols.

Bibliography

C. Welch, Two Cathedral Organists, T. W. (1601-1623) and Thomas Kelway (1720-1744) (Chichester, 1957); W. Collins, The Anthems of T W.(diss., Univ. of Mich., 1960); D. Morse, Word-painting and Symbolism in the Secular Choral Works by T. W., Tudor Composer (diss., N. Y. Univ., 1961).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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