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Friday Night Organ pop culture Dudes of the 16th century.  

 

The Evil Genius
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14/09/2018 7:56 pm  

John Dowland 1563-1626 was the John Lennon of his day. He was a lutenist and a singer who composed popular songs. For example Come Heavy Sleep (or in German Come sweet death), Flow My Tears, "I saw My lady weepe", and "In Darkness Let me Dwell". A kind person would refer to his works as melancholy, I on the other hand find the word morose more descriptive. Sadly much of his work is blue-pill woman worshiping crap--but that explains his popularity. He was literally the John Lennon DUDE of the 16th century.  Little is known of his early life, but it is believed he was born in London.  In 1580 Dowland went to Paris, where he was in service to Sir Henry Cobham the ambassador to the French court. He became a Roman Catholic while in France.  In 1584, Dowland moved back to England where he was married. In 1588 he was admitted Mus. Bac. from Christ Church Oxford.  In 1594 a vacancy for a lutenist came up at the English court, but Dowland's application was unsuccessful – he claimed religion was the reason he was not offered a post at queen Elizabeth's court. However, his conversion was not publicized, and being Catholic did not prevent some other important musicians (such as William Byrd ) from having a court career in England. WHAT A cry-baby. 

From 1598 Dowland worked at the court of Christian IV of Denmark.  King Christian was very interested in music and paid Dowland astronomical sums; his salary was 500 daler a year, making him one of the highest-paid servants of the Danish court. Though Dowland was highly regarded by King Christian, he was not the ideal servant, often overstaying his leave when he went to England on publishing business or for other reasons.  Dowland was dismissed in 1606 and returned to England;  in early 1612 he secured a post as one of James I's lutenists. There are few compositions dating from the moment of his royal appointment until his death in London in 1626. While the date of his death is not known, "Dowland's last payment from the court was on 20 January 1626, and he was buried at St Ann's Blackfriars London, on 20 February 1626. The next two pieces are really blue-pill crap but for historical reasons they must be included; the third work however is fantastic. 

So here is "I saw my Lady Weepe": 

And "Flow my Tears":

OK that is all the blue pill tear-jerking I can handle. 

This is his work "Lachrimae" which is actually pretty good BUT (and the English guys are going to hate this BUT Dowland is just not up to the standard of Charles Mouton--who we will explore later. )

 OK enough guitar plucking and getting all weepy over bitches. Thomas Weelkes, 1576-1623 was a contemporary of Dowland except that he was an organist by trade.  He became organist of Winchester College in 1598, moving to on to Chichester Cathedral. This guy is a good deal more MGTOW than Dowland. Weelkes was born near Chichester in West Susses. In 1597 his first volume of madrigals was published, the preface noting that he was a very young man when they were written; this helps to fix the date of his birth to somewhere in the middle of the 1570s. Early in his life he was in service at the house of the courtier Edward Darcye. At the end of 1598, probably aged 22, Weelkes was appointed organist at Winchester College, where he remained for two or three years, receiving the quarterly salary of 13s 4d (£2 for three quarters). His remuneration included board and lodging.

During his Winchester period, Weelkes composed a further two volumes of madrigals (1598, 1600). He obtained his B. Mus. Degree from New College Oxford in 1602, and moved to back to Chichester to take up the position of organist and instructor of the choristers at the cathedral  He was also given a lay clerkship at the Cathedral, being paid £15 2s 4d annually alongside his board, lodging and other amenities. The following year he married Elizabeth Sandham, from a wealthy local family. They had three children and it was rumored that Elizabeth was already pregnant at the time of the marriage. (Can you say SPERM JACK!) 

While Weelkes was at Chichester  he was often in trouble with the authorities for poor behavior. Weelkes became a drunk--I'm cool with that BUT  It was said of him:  "he was not the only disorderly member of the cathedral establishment, though in due course he would become its most celebrated." In 1609 he was charged with unauthorized absence from Chichester, but no mention of drunken behavior is made until 1613, and J Shepherd, a Weelkes scholar, has suggested caution in assuming that his decline began before this date. In 1616 he was reported to the Bishop for being ‘noted and famed for a comon drunckard (sic) and notorious swearer & blasphemer’. The Dean and Chapter dismissed him for being drunk at the organ and using bad language during divine service. He was however reinstated and remained in the post until his death, although his behavior did not improve; in 1619 Weelkes was again reported to the Bishop: "Dyvers tymes & very often come so disguised eyther from the Taverne or Ale house into the quire as is muche to be lamented, for in these humoures he will bothe curse & sweare most dreadfully, & so profane the service of God … and though he hath bene often tymes admonished … to refrayne theis humors and reforme hym selfe, yett he daylye continuse the same, & is rather worse than better therein." Hey this guy is MGTOW HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS!

In 1622 Elizabeth Weelkes died. Thomas Weelkes was, by this time, reinstated at Chichester Cathedral, but appeared to be spending a great deal of time in London.  He died in London in 1623, in the house of a friend, almost certainly on 30 November and was buried on 1 December 1623. Weelkes's will, made the day before he died at the house of his friend Henry Drinkwater left his estate to be shared between his three children, with a large 50s legacy left to Drinkwater for his meat, drink and lodging. Weelkes has a memorial stone in Chichester Cathedral. 

Here is his Voluntary #1 

Here is Voluntary #2 

Finally we have John Bull 1562-1628.  He was a composer, musician and organ builder and a renowned keyboard performer of the virginalist school and most of his compositions were written for this medium. Born in Hereford he became organist of Hereford Cathedral in 1582. He is probably the most important and influential English keyboard composer of the late Elizabethan era. Bull left England in 1613. He had been charged with adultery and fled to Flanders where he became the principal organist of Antwerp Cathedral.  While in Antwerp he most probably met Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, the most influential keyboard composer of the age. We will be examining the works of Sweelinck VERY soon. Anyway Bull died in Antwerp in 1628. No, try as they might the English never succeeded in extraditing him back to England to face the charges. 

Here is his Fantasia for Organ: 

And his In Nomine:

 

Well next week we wave goodbye to merry old England. We'll be back in time to catch up with Henry Purcell but meanwhile we are going back to Italy and immerse ourselves in the glory of Frescobaldi and Gabrielli.  Then its back to some serious music---16th century Denmark, the Netherlands and North Germany for some really pounding organ stuff. 

OK for the morbidly curious: 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/20720443/thomas-weelkes

 

 

Weelkes


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The Evil Genius
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15/09/2018 12:14 am  

I posted this earlier and for some reason it disappeared. This is expressly for Itsallbs because I know he likes this work. 

 


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BigSiameseCat
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15/09/2018 2:05 am  

I like the interpretation that this organist uses on Bach's Toccata and Fugue. He does take it much slower and let's the intricacies of the piece show themselves rather than be buried under a flurry of notes almost to fast to comprehend. Any ideas on where a recording of this organist/pipe organ can be found? It's hard for me to tell from the Y tube, but it sounds like it might be a high quality recording with good capture of the 32' registers.

This piece has lots of sentimental value to me as it was one of my dad's favorite pieces and he played on the pipe organ in our living room when I was a child. I hope your organ journey will stop by this cathedral. The organist plays a little fast, but the organ sound beautiful! I have a 3cd set recorded here and it is among my favorites.


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The Evil Genius
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15/09/2018 2:32 am  

Indeed BSC. I have a cd of this organ...unfortunately the works are performed by Anthony Newmann. OK Mr, Newmann has incredible skill but he insists that all the work of Bach must be played at the speed of light. The work above is 12 minutes which is a little drawn out but I like it just the same---gives definition to EACH note---not just a blurr of sound. Normally this work is about 8 minutes but Newmann cranks it out in just under 7 minutes. And that Organ at the monastery in Poland is REALLY AWESOME! I hope you liked tonight's other selections of course compared to Bach they seem a little under done. But that is OK next week the Italians are going to show us how it is DONE and one day in the future I'm going to devote the entire post to Sweelinck. 

BTW I've heard the work you posted on a HUGE Metzler Organ in Switzerland and it will blow out your speakers! Also the bass reed stop on the Polish organ really doesn't sound like the German Pausanna, rather it reminds me of the Dutch Baizun stop. 


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Old Buck
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15/09/2018 2:58 am  

I'm sitting around a campfire listening to Lachrimae.  Absolutely wonderful.  Thanks Pete!

Do NOT chase tail. Turn yours around and live FREE!


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BigSiameseCat
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15/09/2018 3:03 am  

The reed stops really do sound nice on the organ I posted a link to. I share your opinion on Newman's playing. That is why I want to add hi fidelity recordings of other organists to my collection.

I'm not too worried about speaker distress, the structural integrity of my house is the limiting factor, especially the windows. I love my homemade subwoofer which is the size of small refrigerator (22cu ft internal volume, port tuned to 22hz). The 32' register on the organ in Poland makes the floor slab of my house vibrate. 😀 

I think a high fidelity recording of a great cathedral pipe organ is one of the greatest tests of any home sound system.


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Uly The Cunning
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15/09/2018 5:54 am  

Ah, to be a musician and a man going his own way. Weelkes would be an interesting guy to meet in person. It appears that he was not disliked, but just very difficult to handle at times. Weelkes was outspoken and Bull was a Chad. Being a musician in those times does seem to still mirror a rock and roll lifestyle.  

"Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
Groucho Marx: Duck Soup (1933)


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The Evil Genius
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16/09/2018 8:33 pm  

Glad you liked the lute music OldBuck. 

BSC I'm envious now! I have a separate 12' sub which does OK BUT yours has me topped! 

Uly I know what you mean about some of these guys---Weelkes sounds like one of too a tee. I always look for MGTOW connections if I can find it. And Dowland is a complete blue-pill mangina; crying because he couldn't be a court musician for Elizabeth, but then got paid a shit-load more in Denmark than she ever would have paid him. Bitch and Moan; Bitch and Moan! 


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Uly The Cunning
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17/09/2018 4:11 am  

It is a woman's mentality that the grass is always greener. They can never be satisfied, always wondering what if. All the while, men are making what they have so much better with their ingenuity. I would say he was blue pill or just very feminized. 

"Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."
Groucho Marx: Duck Soup (1933)


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GregBO
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20/09/2018 12:05 am  

Great post, the mix of organ and non-organ was great.  Will look forward to seeing how this runs out with a mix of other instruments.

​"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

​"​My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.​" - Clarence Buddinton Kelland


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