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O God the King of Glory

O God the King of Glory

Gibbons, Orlando


  • Ensemble: Brass Quintet
  • Genre: Sacred
  • Grade: 3
  • Duration: 3.5 minutes
  • Catalog Number: DB-CAN0134

Orlando Gibbons was born in Oxford in 1583 into a family whose members occupied high places in the musical hierarchy of England for over a century. At age 12 he became a chorister of the Choir of Kings College Cambridge, a group whose renown extends to the present time.His brother was, at the time, the Master of the Choristers. On March 21, 1604, at the age of 21,he was appointed Gentleman and Organist of the Chapel Royal, a position he retained until the end of his life. Cambridge awarded him a Bachelor of Music in 1606 and Oxford a Doctorate in1622. In 1606 he married Elizabeth Patten, fathering four daughters and three sons, one of whom, Christopher, became recognized at that nations finest organist. Contemporary reports claim that when he performed, the organ was touched with the best Finger of that age. In1623 he was appointed organist at Westminster Abbey. While in the service of the King onWhit-Sunday, 1625, Gibbons was seized by an apoplectic fit and died immediately thereafter.He was buried the following day in the Canterbury Cathedral, but not until after his remains were certified free of bubonic plague by Drs. Poe and Domingo, as this disease was a common cause of sudden death in the Seventeenth Century.

Although Gibbons wrote secular vocal music including the First Set of Madrigals and Motets of Five Parts (1612) and instrumental music, particularly for the keyboard, he is best known for his church music and above all for his anthems. The anthems fall into two categories, the polyphonic anthems, which were the culmination of British contrapuntal writing and the verse anthems which were, perhaps more modern in style. Verse anthems of the Baroque are strictlyEnglish compositions for the de Tempore or variable part of the liturgical year. The texts are from the Scriptures (primarily Psalms) or other liturgical sources, and most (as in the case of OGod the King of Glory) have an organ accompaniment. The majority of verse anthems are more homophonic than polyphonic, especially in the tutti chorus sections, and are correspondingly syllabic. The anthems also contained solo sections, creating an overall style similar to the Italian concertato. In this arrangement, the solo parts in measure 44-62 are played by the two trumpets; marked with slightly louder dynamics than the accompaniment parts.

This work is part of our Denver Brass Signature Series.

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