Music from the Chapel Royal: 'The King's Musick'
It was largely through the efforts of ‘Captain’ Henry Cooke that the choir of the Chapel Royal was successfully restored at the Restoration in 1660. He invoked ancient press-gang legislation to purloin promising choirboys from cathedrals across the country. Two of them, Pelham Humfrey and John Blow, went on to write ground-breaking music.
Cooke’s most important service to English church music was to put into practice Charles II’s explicit desire to have his royal anthems decked out with instrumental ‘symphonies’ and interludes. The diarist Samuel Pepys regularly recorded the performances of Cooke’s novel new anthems by the Chapel Royal choir. On September 14, 1662 he wrote:
'Thence to Whitehall Chapel, where .. I heard Captain Cooke’s new musique. This the first day of having [violins] and other instruments to play a symphony between each verse of the anthem … the music was more full than it was last Sunday and very fine it is.'
'The singing, both solo and corporate is of a high order…The two Cooke anthems are of especial interests since they are recent discoveries…A rewarding disc.' BBC Music Magazine
Pelham Humfrey (1647-1674)
1. O Lord my God
Henry Cooke (c1615-1672)
2. Put me not to rebuke, O Lord
3. Lord I have sinned
Humfrey (1647-1674), John Blow (1649-1708) & William Turner
4. I will always give thanks (The 'Club' Anthem)
5. O the sad day
6. By the waters of Babylon
7. Sleep downy sleep come close mine eyes
8. O Lord, thou hast searched me out
9. Wilt thou forgive that sin (A Hymn to God the Father)
10. I will hearken
TOTAL PLAYING TIME: 1hr 8mins