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GIBBONS, O.: Hymnes and Songs of the Church (Tonus Peregrinus, Pitts)

Period(s) ContemporaryRenaissance (1400-1600)
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber MusicChoral - Sacred
Catalogue 8.557681
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Orlando Gibbons’ exquisite tunes and rock-solid bass-lines for the first English hymn-book, Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623), were written to be sung and played both at home and in church. Specially realized by Antony Pitts and Alexander L’Estrange for this recording, the complete collection is interleaved with new English hymns and arranged in eight sequences following the Church’s liturgical year.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

This Naxos disc collects all Gibbons’s Hymnes and Songs of the Church as published in 1623, and arranged for this recording by Antony Pitts, the director of Tonus Peregrinus. They are divided into eight groups, Songs of Joy, Love, Sacrifice, Lamentation, Triumph, Unity, Faith and Hope. Each Hymne is brief, and each is based on one of ‘fifteen or so’ tunes ‘depending on how you count them’, and underpinned by simple bass lines. The inner parts are left to the performers, and there is considerable variety here (including use of a chamber organ) with some new settings provided by members of the group. Tonus Peregrinus can be relied on for scholarship and vocal excellence; even so, the result is unexpectedly rewarding. This is beautiful music, richly


Review By William Yeoman,Limelight Magazine,November 2006

Glenn Gould's favourite composer was Orlando Gibbons (1583­1625), a fact not lost on Tonus Peregrinus' director Anthony Pitts, who in his booklet notes quotes Gould extensively. Quite apposite, really, because this new recording, the first of all the hymn melodies by Gibbons which George Wither included in his 1623 collection Hymnes and Songs of the Church, shows Pitts and his youthful vocal ensemble to be just as inventive as Gould when playing Gibbons on the piano. Pitts has divided the disc into eight sections to reflect the Church calendar; within each section Gibbons' tunes (arranged by Pitts or countertenor and jazz bassist Alexander L'Estrange), are contrasted with contemporary hymn settings, also by Pitts and L'Estrange. The arrangements



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