'In Chains of Gold, Volume 1: the complete consort anthems of Orlando Gibbons' (Signum Records: SIGCD511), is a CD that was funded largely through Crowdfunder UK in 2016, released last November and voted ‘Critic’s Choice’ for 2017 in Gramophone Magazine, receiving wide critical acclaim. Now there is huge demand to hear more of the great verse anthem repertoire:
'... I urge everyone to start collecting these volumes as they appear over the coming years ... a real treat' (Early Music Review, February 2018)
'... Volume two from this dream-team will be eagerly awaited’ (Choir and Organ, January 2018)
The same ‘dream-team’ of Magdalena Consort, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts and Fretwork will be assembled again in January 2019. They will record a second volume of verse music, this time from the earlier period of verse anthems, featuring some of the most famous pieces of the repertoire, such as William Byrd’s Easter anthem 'Christ rising' and Thomas Morley’s 'Out of the deep' and John Bull's 'Star Anthem'. The CD will also include some significant pieces of reconstruction. 'Look and bow down' is a setting by William Byrd of the words of Queen Elizabeth on the defeat of the Armada. Long reputed to have been performed before her in November 1588 in a great procession before St Paul’s Cathedral, the music has only recently been extracted from a piece of lute intabulation. 'O God of Gods' is a magnificent anthem for soloists and double choir, a grand musical oration, written to celebrate the accession of James I by Edmund Hooper. He was a leading contemporary of Gibbons, who was highly regarded in his own time but is scarcely known today. 'Hearken ye nations', also by Hooper, is an impassioned expression of thanksgiving for deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, presumably performed for James and his court and, like several other pieces on this CD, now being heard for the first time in over 400 years.
In addition to the rich array of viols and early wind used on our Gibbons CD, the instrumental accompaniment this time will include a specially reconstructed ‘Tudor organ’, made by the historical makers Goetze and Gwynn – fascinatingly different in character from organs of today. Minute attention is being given to many details, and nowhere more than in the expertise of Peter Harvey’s group of specialist singers Magdalena Consort, whose familiarity with period style will give these performances a vividness that relates this highly rhetorical music to the revolutionary era of the early baroque, where it truly belongs.