The Orlando Gibbons Project 2016

First complete recording of the consort verse anthems of Orlando Gibbons - some of the greatest English sacred music ever written.

We did it!

On 10th Oct 2016 we successfully raised £7,505 of £5,000 target with 135 supporters in 21 days

New stretch target

We are immensely grateful to all who have enabled us to reach our target of £5,000. Inevitably, in a project as large as this, involving over 24 musicians and a cost originally estimated at well over £30,000, more costs creep in along the way. Some were never included in the first place, in  order to keep the overall figure down, some were simply not foreseen. Furthermore, there will be more expenditure involved in getting the CD lanched and publicised, which we don't yet know. In the last resort, I am underwriting it all myself, because I am passionate about Gibbons' music (this is Bill Hunt speaking here - this project was my idea!) If I may be allowed to ask for your help, by setting this stretch target, I'd be personally very grateful to you! Any unused surplus will be going towards the next project in what I hope will be a three-part series: the early verse anthem repertoire, including music by Morley, Byrd and Bull. There is plenty more magnificent music to look forward to.

The Orlando Gibbons Project 2016

The first complete recording of the consort verse anthems of

Orlando Gibbons. 

NB: This is a charitable cause, since all donations are being paid to HMSC Ltd (His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts), a registered UK charity (no.1114376) and one of the participating ensembles in this project. If you are a UK taxpayer, please tell us if your donation can be Gift Aided. Thank you!

In November 2016, the internationally renowned viol consort Fretwork, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary

has organised an exciting project to restore the consort verse anthems of Orlando Gibbons to their rightful place, amongst the greatest creations of English sacred music. They will be recorded for the first time in their entirety, sung not by a choir but  by a select consort of the UK's leading specialist singers under the banner of Magdalena Consort (director Peter Harvey)

and accompanied both by Fretwork and by our collaborating ensemble His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts (registered UK charity no. 1114376). 

Included are several pieces long recognised as masterpieces, such as This is the record of John and Behold, thou hast made my days. Their performance today still conjures up for many the familiar sonority of Anglican choir and organ and a performance style that is arguably still rooted in 19th century choral tradition. One thing we can be sure about is that they must have sounded very different to the audience of Gibbons’ time. 

The very form of the verse anthem, a highly effective fusion of rhetorical declamation and communal response, was conceived in the heat of the English Reformation and we want to recapture something of its original urgency. With the richly contrasting colours of both viols and cornetts and sackbutts, and with the incisive clarity of several of the UK’s leading specialist singers, we aim to reveal the extraordinary poetic power of Gibbons’ great music, as it might have been heard in the Chapel Royal and the private domestic chapels of early 17th century England.


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