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To Shorten Winter's Sadness

To Shorten Winter's Sadness

Weelkes, Thomas

Arr. Frasier, Jane


  • Ensemble: Brass Quintet
  • Genre: Classical
  • Grade: 3
  • Duration: 1.5 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS519

Thomas Weelkes has been known as one of the great names in the flowering of the Elizabethan madrigal, in a class with Morley, Wilbye, and Gibbons. Unlike many of his famous contemporaries, however, Weelkes never seems to have served the royal household in London, rather eking out a living as a provincial church musician. He first privately served noble patrons George Phillpot and then Edward Darcye, following this with an uneasy tenure as Winchester College organist from 1598 to 1602. He then took the appointment as organist and choirmaster at Chichester Cathedral, with a lucrative clerkship on the side. Unfortunately, he spent the greater part of his church career being reprimanded by the ecclesiastical authorities; he was "noted and famed for a common drunkard and notorious swearer and blasphemer," and was dismissed from his musical duties at least once. After the death of his wife in 1622, Weelkes left all his responsibilities and spent his last year in London.

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