Tomkins: O Give Thanks Unto The Lord
THE CHOIR OF HM CHAPEL ROYAL, HAMPTON COURT PALACE JACKSON FROWDE
Following their debut album for Resonus Classics, The Choir of HM Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, with their director Carl Jackson, returns with an album of early-seventeenth century choral works by Thomas Tomkins (1572–1656). Featuring elaborate verse anthems, two settings of the Evensong canticles, and four-part psalm settings, this album reminds us of Tomkins’s prominence as one of the greatest Chapel Royal composers of the late English Renaissance. For two centuries from the baptism of Edward VI at Hampton Court in 1537, many of the finest musicians of the inerrant Chapel Royal would have served here. They include Tallis; Byrd who lived a few miles away in Harlington; Morley – sworn and admired a Gentlemen in the Vestry at Hampton Court; Purcell; and also Pelham Humfrey and Blow, both of whom lived nearby in Hampton. Hampton Court Palace ceased to be a royal residence in 1737, and a permanent choir was established in 1868. The 150th anniversary of this event was marked in April 2018. Today, the Hampton Court choir comprises up to eighteen boy choristers drawn from local schools and six adult singers. From the third week in September to the third week in July, it sings two services on Sundays and on various other Holy Days, these being amended by a large, regular congregation of people living in the locality and by the many visitors to the palace. The choir is subject to the jurisdiction of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and of the Dean of HM Chapels Royal, and it participates fully in an ongoing programme of collaborative performances with other choirs of the Chapels Royal.