In Chains of Gold / Fretwork, His Magesty's Sagbutts & Cornetts, Magdalena Consort

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Leading performers of 17th-century music Fretwork, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts and the Magdalena Consort (directed by Peter Harvey) combine forces under the artistic direction of William Hunt for this first complete recording of the consort anthems of Orlando Gibbons. Gibbons’ music is one of the artistic glories of the first Stuart reign. Amongst his sacred compositions, verse anthems such as This is the record of John and Behold, thou hast made my days are long acknowledged masterpieces, amongst the greatest in all English sacred music, but best known to most in their setting for choir and organ. Here they are presented together with an array of other great anthems, some of them scarcely known, in their more intricate and colorful versions for consort accompaniment. Following the instruction of such contemporary writers as Morley and Caccini, these radical new performances place communication of text at the forefront, seeking to rediscover the dramatic essence of the verse anthem that made it arguably the most effective musical creation of the English Reformation. With the incisive declamatory skill of several of the UK’s leading period performers, they reveal the extraordinary rhetorical and poetic power of this music, as it might have been heard in the Chapel Royal and the private domestic chapels of early 17th century England.



Skip straight to track 3 and Gibbons's first In Nomine a 5, and listen to the blanched brilliance, the glistening cobweb delicacy of tone from Fretwork's viols. The effect of the perilous A466 tuning heights is of uncanny beauty, familiar notes polished up to a new sheen and luster.

– Gramophone

Product Description:

  • Release Date: November 10, 2017

  • Catalog Number: SIGCD511

  • UPC: 635212051122

  • Label: Signum Classics

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Orlando Gibbons

  • Conductor: Peter Harvey

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Fretwork, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, Magdalena Consort