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Orlando Gibbons was born into a musical family: his father was a civic musician and his brother, Edward, was a Lay Clerk in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, where the young Orlando would receive his early musical education as a chorister. He is first listed on the payroll of the Chapel Royal in 1603, and two years later he would become the senior chapel organist—a post he would hold for the rest of his life. He became one of the king’s private virginalists in 1619, and in 1623 he was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey. When he died suddenly of apoplexy in 1625, England lost its most gifted organist and composer— a musician renowned both for his keyboard dexterity and his ability to write with equal facility for both sacred and secular forces. O Clap Your Hands is Gibbons’s grandest work: a contrapuntal masterpiece, its relentless rhythmic drive and dramatic exchanges between the various vocal groupings—such as the shouts of joy at “O sing praises”—create an infectious sense of exuberance.


O clap your hands together, all ye people; O sing unto God with the voice of melody. For the Lord is high and to be feared; he is the great King of all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose out an heritage for us, even the worship of Jacob, whom he loved.

God is gone up with a merry noise, and the Lord with the sound of the trumpet. O sing praises, sing praises unto our God: O sing praises unto the Lord our King. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with the understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon his holy seat. For God, which is highly exalted, doth defend the earth, as it were with a shield.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

from Psalm 47 (with Gloria)


from Spring Bursts Today: A Celebration of Eastertide, released April 20, 2014



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Harvard University Choir Cambridge, Massachusetts

For over 175 years the Harvard University Choir has provided a unique opportunity for student singers to perform choral literature at the highest level, both in concert and during the services of the Memorial Church. Its program of daily choral services, broadcasts, tours, commissions, and recordings make it one of the premier college chapel ensembles in the United States. ... more

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