One of the last great polyphonic english composers, Orlando Gibbons was the last of four sons of a family of musicians. Born in Oxford in 1583 to William Gibbons, who was appointed a wait at Cambridge in 1567, Orlando soon became heavily involved in church music. His eldest brother, Edward was a priest vicar at Exeter Cathedral where a few of his compositions still remain.
Ellis, another brother, managed to have two madrigals published in Thomas Morley's collectin o 1601, The Triumphs of Oriana.
Orlando surpassed them all.
In 1695 at the age of 12 he became a chorister at King's College Cambridge. At King's he was continuously envolved in the music of the royal ... more »
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The Silver Swan, Who Living Had No Note
The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approach'd, unlock'd her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more.
Farewell, all joys; O Death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.