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Thomas Weelkes was a notorious drunkard and blasphemer, in regular conflict with the authorities of Chichester Cathedral where he was organist, Informator Choristarum, and a singing-man from 1602 until his death in 1623. At least that is his modern reputation. But regardless of the man’s personal flaws, his music firmly stands as sublime.
He was the most notable composer of madrigals in his day, and one of the most prolific composers of church music. Featured here is a selection of his finest full and verse anthems as well as instrumental music for organ, viols, and solo voice, including a number of anthems in praise of King James I of England.
Thomas Weelkes: Hosanna to the Son of David
Hosanna to the Son of David
Thomas Weelkes: Pavan, "Mr. Weelkes his Lacrimae"
Pavan, "Mr. Weelkes his Lacrimae"
Thomas Weelkes: What joy so true
What joy so true
Thomas Weelkes: All people clap your hands
All people clap your hands
Thomas Weelkes: Voluntary 
Thomas Weelkes: Lord, to thee I make my moan
Lord, to thee I make my moan
Thomas Weelkes: When David heard
When David heard
Thomas Weelkes: Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis deo
Thomas Weelkes: Pavan, "Mr. Weelkes his 3 Pavin"
Pavan, "Mr. Weelkes his 3 Pavin"
Thomas Weelkes: Give ear, O Lord
Give ear, O Lord
Thomas Weelkes: Most mighty and all-knowing Lord
Most mighty and all-knowing Lord
Thomas Weelkes: O how amiable
O how amiable
Thomas Weelkes: Voluntary 
Thomas Weelkes: Alleluia, I heard a voice
Alleluia, I heard a voice
Thomas Weelkes: O mortal man
O mortal man
Thomas Weelkes: Pavan 
Thomas Weelkes: Give the king thy judgements
Give the king thy judgements
Thomas Weelkes: Fantasia for 2 Basses
Fantasia for 2 Basses
Thomas Weelkes: If King Manasses
If King Manasses
Thomas Weelkes: O Lord, grant the king a long life
O Lord, grant the king a long life
“There's both freshness and fire in these accounts, Skinner underscoring the music's dramatic and madrigalian qualities, and enhancing dynamic and textural contrasts to elating effect.”
“the exquisite playing of Fretwork, especially in the three Pavans, is of such quality that it alone is well worth the price of the disc. And, given their own moment in the limelight in two of Weelkes's voluntaries, the two organists emerge as deeply sympathetic to this delightful music.”
“For the organ-accompanied verse anthems the soloists have been drawn from the choir...while in anthems such as 'What joy so true' the women affect the usual choirboyish quality though without the dangerously fragile intonation that usually accompanies such a strategy; the result is, well, affecting...Fretwork's highly musical phrasing complemented by dusky timbres and sharply delineated textures return to delight both ear and brain”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.