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Recording of the month

The firmament on high

Music by Thomas Tomkins -
enjoyed by

'... an unqualified delight ...'

Above the Starrs - Fretwork. Thomas Tomkins. © 2003 harmonia mundi usa

Thomas Tomkins, an elder brother, sank (1591) with Sir Richard Grenville's 'little Revenge' when opposing 'the devildoms of Spain', to the later delight of English choral societies in the commendable retelling by Tennyson and Stanford. This CD's Thomas Tomkins tells us of his birth (1572) in a dedication to William, Earl of Pembroke: 'I first breathed, and beheld the sunne, in that Country to which your Lordship gives the greatest lustre.' His father was a vicar-choral at St Davids, but by 1596 the young Thomas was master of the choristers at Worcester Cathedral. He was active there some fifty years and saw many changes to the fabric and its music.

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Copyright © 27 July 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


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