A delightful airing
The keyboard music of
Matthew Locke -
'... crisp and lively ...'
Let Thomas Tudway set the scene: 'His majesty, who was a brisk and airy
prince, coming to the crown in the flower and vigour of his age, was soon,
if I may so say, tired with the grave and solemn way which had been
established by Tallis, Bird, and others.' Matthew Locke is supposed to have
written the music for Charles II's London entry in 1660. He probably knew
Charles from the days he was organising Royalist troops from Exeter Cathedral,
where young Matthew was a chorister. In 1648 they were both in the Netherlands,
and Locke became a Catholic, the more suited to Catherine of Braganza's chapel
when queen. The CD reprints the portrait of Locke attributed
to Isaac Fuller and now in the Oxford Faculty of Music. It is mentioned by
Dr Burney in connection with the combativeness and asperity of Locke's writings.
The countenance produced an unfavourable effect: 'we are impressed with more
than a suspicion of his ungentleness and want of urbanity'.
Copyright © 16 November 2003
Robert Anderson, London UK